By Cllr Johann Dyason, DA caucus leader: Steve Tshwete local municipality:
The DA welcomes the sentencing of Eric Mthombeni and Papikie Mokoena on Thursday for the brutal murder of Sarel Janse van Rensburg on his farm on 18 September 2014.
The two were given life sentences for the charge of murder; 15 years for aggravated robbery; 3-years for possession of an unlicensed firearm; and 18-months for unlawful possession of ammunition. All sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence.
The DA would like to see the introduction of Rural Safety Units across the province to safeguard our rural and farming communities. Attacks on farming communities compromises our province’s food security.
Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe must seriously think about the implementation of Rural Safety Units which will help eliminate attacks in both the rural and farming areas.
We need to ensure that Mpumalanga is a safe and secure place for all citizens, the fight against crime is everyone’s responsibility.
The DA has long been at the forefront calling for the establishment of Rural Safety Units, and the time to act is now.
Last month, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a report into the safety and security challenges faced by farming communities across South Africa.
According to SAHRC, sector policing is a challenge in informal communities and in rural and farming communities. SAHRC recommended that the South African Police Service (SAPS) consider conducting a crime threat analysis for farming communities, and that the current SAPS Rural Safety Strategy is inadequate and must be reviewed