By Chris Hattingh (MPL), Democratic Alliance Leader in North West Provincial Legislature:
The Democratic Alliance in North West is deeply concerned about a series of serious crimes that was committed in the province over the past two weeks.
The messages criminals send through committing these crimes are arrogant and it is clear that they continuously target the most vulnerable in society.
Even more alarming is the fact that a policeman was arrested in connection with a farm attack on the farm Kareebosbult near Coligny. The elderly farmer (84) was attacked, tied up and robbed in his home.
In another case in Mooinooi a man was shot in front of his minor children and as a result will be paralyzed for life. The family was robbed of R250, two cellular phones, a camera and pendant.
A few days later, in Mooinooi a family and there 33 week pregnant daughter were attacked and tied up. One woman could manage to flee to her bedroom and when the perpetrator entered the room, she shot him. The family is extremely traumatised.
No one seems to be safe as a 20-year old mother of Marikana was raped, whilst carrying her 4 month old baby on her back. In Lehurutshe, near Zeerust three children were raped. Although a suspect is in custody for the latter case, the DA is of opinion that crimes like these should not take place in a free and democratic society.
In Hartbeespoort police are still searching for some of the five men who escaped from the police station holding cells. Four of the five was held on robbery complaints. What is worrying is that there are no signs of force exit out of the cells.
These are only a few of the cases that made national headlines and the DA knows there are plenty of people who fall victim to serious crimes.
It is apparent that there is a rural vacuum after the in the disbandment of the commando system. The need for proper policing is getting bigger and bigger every day.
The lack of rural policing make these areas susceptible for criminal activities. Vulnerable people, like farmers, elderly, women and children are in the aim of these criminal.
The DA will take the matter up in the North West Provincial Legislature and insist that SAPS do a proper submission on rural safety. The DA will also insist on action plans in order to keep our rural communities safe.