The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature says government, in part, is to blame for the spate of farm killings in the Province.
This comes after a yet another farmer, Hedley James Brown (70), of the KZN Midlands, was found murdered on his farm in Lions River, outside Howick, on Monday morning.
The IFP believes that government is not doing enough to address farm attacks, despite having all the necessary resources at its disposal. Government has failed the farmers; therefore, it must be held accountable. Government needs to discourage criminal acts by enforcing laws and through ensuring that harsh sentences are meted out to criminals. Otherwise, we are fighting a losing battle and farm attacks will continue.
According to the First Quarter 2021/22 SAPS Crime Statistics, attacks – including murder – on farms and small holdings increased by 47 incidents, when compared to the 2020/21 statistics.
In affirmation of the gravity of farm attacks, a Committee of Inquiry was established in 2001, by the late former Minister of Safety and Security, Steve Tshwete. The purpose of the 2001 Committee was to “inquire into the ongoing spate of attacks on farms, which include violent criminal acts such as murder, robbery, rape, to determine the motives and factors behind these attacks and to make recommendations on their findings”.
Farmers play an essential role in our society, as they provide us with food. In other words, farmers are the ‘backbone’ and ‘heart’ of the nation. If farm attacks and farm murders are left to continue unabated, it could impact food security, which, in turn, could lead to more widespread hunger.
The IFP calls upon government – and especially the police – to work towards ensuring the safety of people in the rural areas, by prioritising the protection of farm owners and employees. Government and the police must use all means at their disposal to prevent the situation from escalating.
The IFP calls for farm attacks and farm murders to be treated as a separate crime category, and regarded as a priority crime, as these crimes require a particular solution.
Mr Nhlanhla Msimango, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development
078 302 4657