Farmers in KZN will no longer sit back in silence while their colleagues are robbed and killed on their properties.
On Saturday, farmers took part in motorcade demonstration organised by Peter Tractors, from upper Tongaat to Ballito, to show that farmers and farm worker’s lives matter.
They want the government to step in and to protect them.
According to the latest crime statistics, from April last year to March this year, 49 people were killed on farms and 46 were attacked.
The Transvaal Agriculture Union of South Africa, a commercial farming organisation, recorded 54 farm murders and 410 farm attacks in the past year.
Following last month’s farm attack in Normandien, near Newcastle, where a couple were shot and killed, Police Minister Bheki Cele said farm attacks and killings would not be classified as national priority crimes.
He said farm attacks were usually categorised under aggravated robbery on a farm or dwelling. Cele said serious crimes were grouped under contact crimes that included murder, attempted murder, sexual offences and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Farm attacks would then be placed in the serious category.
Cele said the police had implemented a rural safety strategy to tackle crimes on farms and rural communities. This strategy will see police being equipped with adequate vehicles, helicopters and horses to combat crime.
But farmers, who were part of Saturday’s motorcade demonstration, want more done.
Ravin Lekha, who is also a medical doctor, said: “We need to bring awareness of atrocities committed against the breadbasket of our country. These heinous crimes have had devastating consequences on our food producers. I don’t blame the police. They are pawns. It is the decision-makers who are to blame.”
He said the government needed to invest in farm security.
Source: Independent Online