By Leona Kleynhans, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature and Constituency Head for the Maluti-a- Phofung and Phumelela Local Municipalities:
The DA expresses its shock at the senseless and brutal attack on Me Alison Oates that took place on Sunday at her farm in Harrismith. There can be no justification for the severe torment, pain and suffering brought upon her.
Me Oates is known as a person with a deep concern for her town and community and has always found ways in which to contribute to the betterment of society.
Me Oates serves at the forefront of many community-based initiatives, through her church, through her efforts to develop tourism in Harrismith, through her work at Free State Agriculture, and through her service to the entire rural community, she is always ready with lending a helping hand.
We are devastated by this attack on one of our finest citizens. We wish for her speedy recovery and strength to overcome the terrible evil which she has experienced.
We call on the SAPS to make all resources available in the quest to apprehend the suspects and bring them to face justice.
The attack on Me Oates comes just a month after the brutal murder of farm manager, Mr Robert Rhadebe, and the terrible assault on his widow, Me Martha Rhadebe, in the same Harrismith area.
This attack once again highlights the need for the re-establishment of specialised rural safety units within the SAPS and that violent rural crimes such as these should be regarded as priority crimes. The DA will not rest until these specialised units are reintroduced, properly resourced and effectively trained, to ensure the safety and security of our far-flung rural communities.