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Agri SA – Mediaverklaring/Media Release

11 Mei/May 2017

Aanvallers slaan toe op boerderygemeenskappe

“Die gewraakte plaasaanvalle die afgelope week en gebeure in Coligny skaad die beeld van Suid-Afrika. Dit frustreer Agri SA en die boerderygemeenskap dat boere steeds die teiken bly van kriminele elemente wat nie die belangrike rol van boere en plaaswerkers besef om in die land se voedselbehoeftes te voorsien, asook die bydrae wat hulle maak tot landelike ontwikkeling en stabiliteit nie”, sê Kobus Breytenbach, voorsitter van Agri SA se Landelike Beveiligingskomitee.

Die kwesbaarheid van die boerderygemeenskap bied geen regverdiging vir aanvallers om die gemeenskap voortdurend te teiken sonder die besef van die belangrike rol wat die gemeenskap tot die vooruitgang van die land en sy mense vervul nie. Landbou en diegene wat daarin werk en woon, is ‘n bate vir die land wat ten alle koste beskerm en ondersteun moet word om te help om die doelwitte van die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan te verwesenlik.

Plaasaanvalle word uitgevoer deur kriminele elemente wat slegs selfverryking nastreef en nie waarde heg aan menselewens en die bydrae wat dié gemeenskappe in die vooruitgang en nasiebou in die land nastreef nie. Onlangse mediaberigte bevestig dat hoofsaaklik geld, vuurwapens en selfone geroof word om weer in die onwettige handel te verkoop en te gebruik om ander misdade te pleeg.

Volgens mediaberigte is geen van die aanvallers nog aangekeer nie en Agri SA doen ‘n dringende beroep op die polisie om alles in hulle vermoë te doen om die aanvallers so spoedig moontlik aan te keer. “Gemeenskappe waaruit die aanvallers kom, beskik moontlik oor inligting van die persone en ons wil graag ‘n beroep op hulle doen om met inligting na vore te kom om die polisie te help om die sake spoedig op te los. Dit is belangrik dat die boerderygemeenskap sal ervaar dat geregtigheid sal geskied en dat die swaarste moontlike strawwe opgelê word by skuldigbevinding”, sê Breytenbach.

Breytenbach het sy simpatie met die slagoffers en naasbestaandes uitgespreek en slagoffers ‘n spoedige herstel toegewens. “Ons wil graag ‘n beroep doen op die boerderygemeenskap om met die polisie saam te werk, binne die strukture van die Landelike Beveiligingstrategie om landelike misdaad aan bande te lê. Verder word ‘n beroep op boere en plaaswerkers gedoen, om die nodige beveiligingsmaatreëls toe te pas wat in huidige omstandighede noodsaaklik is om plaasaanvalle te probeer voorkom”, sê Breytenbach.

Breytenbach sê ten slotte, “dat deur die Agri Securitas Trustfonds hulp aan verskeie boerderygemeenskappe gebied word om hulle beveiligingsmaatreëls op te skerp en hulle te staal teen landelike misdaad”.

 

Attackers target farming communities

The vengeful farm attacks and the events in Coligny this past week tarnish the image of South Africa. Agri SA and the farming community feel frustrated that farmers continue to be targeted by criminal elements who fail to realise the important role that farmers and farm workers play in meeting the country’s food requirements and the contribution they make towards rural development and stability,” said Kobus Breytenbach who chairs Agri SA’s Rural Safety Committee.

The vulnerability of the farming community is no justification for attackers to continue targeting the community, ignoring the important role they fulfil in the progress of the country and its people. Agriculture and those who live and work within the sector are an asset to the country and should therefore be protected and supported at all cost to assist in achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan.

Farm attacks are carried out by criminal elements who strive solely for self-enrichment and do not attach any value to human life and the contribution that these communities make in promoting nation building and prosperity in the country. Recent media reports confirm that farm attackers steal mainly money, firearms and cell phones, which are then traded illegally and used to commit other crimes.

According to media reports, none of the attackers has yet been arrested. Agri SA called urgently on the police to do everything in their power to find and arrest the perpetrators. “The communities where these attackers live could have information about the people involved and we urge them to come forward to assist the police to solve these cases swiftly. It is important for the farming community to see that justice has prevailed and that the heaviest possible sentences are imposed in the event of convictions,” said Breytenbach.

Breytenbach sympathised with the victims’ and their next of kin and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “We urge the farming community to cooperate with the police within the structures of the Rural Safety Strategy in order to combat rural crime. We also call on farmers and farm workers to apply the necessary safety measures, which are vital in curbing farm attacks,” said Breytenbach.

In closing, Breytenbach said “the Agri Securitas Trust Fund provides assistance to various farming communities to upgrade their security measures and to safeguard themselves against rural crime”.

 Issued by Agri SA, Directorate: Corporate Liaison