SAPS response fails farm attack victims

By SP Motsenwenyane, DA MPL Portfolio: Public Works, Roads and Community Safety and Louwna Pretorius, DA Constituency Chairperson and councillor Naledi, Vryburg:

The DA in North West will visit the SAPS at Ganyesa to assess the ability and capacity of the Ganyesa SAPS to respond to life threatening rural crime and specifically farm attacks.

This comes after the SAPS allegedly arrived four hours late at the scene of a farm attack on an elderly couple.

Mr Hasie and Mrs Helmien Haasbroek of the farm Friesland near Louwna in the Kagisano Molopo Municipality were attacked on Friday 19 June at 21.00 while they were already in bed.

Two attackers threw rocks through the window to obtain access to the house.  They assaulted the couple and Mr Haasbroek was stabbed in the face with shearing scissors.

The Haasbroeks were tied with cable ties to the bed and the perpetrators fled with weapons, cellphones, jewellery and other items.

At 01.00 Saturday morning Mr Haasbroek had managed to free himself and he could phone the neighbours.

Col. Dube said it is a priority complaint and he will attend to it personally.

At 03.00 the Haasbroeks again phoned the police and were informed the SAPS were on their way to the farm.

After a while they phoned again and was informed that the SAPS officer got lost on his way and returned to the Police station. The Police then only arrived on the farm at 05.00.
The response of the Ganyesa SAPS is alarming seeing that there is a critical time frame in threatening situations like this.

The investigation could only start once the dog unit and members of the forensic unit arrived – the process then ran as prescribed by law. The SAPS caught the two attackers at 11 am the next morning. The DA applauds the good police work to catch the attackers but is alarmed by the poor reaction time.

The DA is concerned about the SAPS’ poor knowledge of the geography of the area in which they police.

There is a general lack of SAPS support in matters of security and safety in rural and remote areas. In this case the farm is easy reachable – only 13km from Louwna on the main road, identifiable with big mast lights on the left.

Every South African should feel safe and protected in our country. The DA will continue to fight for the safety and protection of rural communities.