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Agri SA Media Release: 47 Farm murders a tragic loss

47 Farm murders a tragic loss

Agri SA is concerned about the number of farm murders that was announced by the South African Police Service (SAPS) today. Although this figure is a decrease from the 62 farm murders in the previous financial year, it remains enormous and amounts to almost four murders a month. The deceased were part of close communities and their murders are a tragic loss.

 “Attacks on the farming community and the brutality of these attacks, are unacceptable and have assumed alarming proportions,” says Tommie Esterhuyse, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety. “Everything possible must be done to protect these communities, who are responsible for food security in South Africa.”

 Although the farm murder rate is among the lowest recorded in the past few years, it does not mean that the agricultural sector should lessen its vigilance. The trend looks promising, but the reality remains that 47 murders are still 47 too many.

 “There have been farm attacks and murders for decades. Drastic action, supported with the necessary political will, is needed to prevent it.”

 Agri SA applauded the farming communities that had upgraded their security structures and local initiatives despite the high cost associated with this.

 “Farmers have to rely on private security companies because of a lack of support from local police stations. Partnerships with the private sector have borne fruit and contributed to the success of crime-fighting efforts.”

According to the SAPS statistics stock theft has increased. An Agri SA survey showed that property-related crimes – stock theft and theft of farm infrastructure and implements – have the biggest impact on agriculture, with losses amounting to billions of Rand. Stock theft is increasingly the target of organised crime and the police should investigate it as such.

 “The farming community is increasingly reluctant to report incidents of property-related crime because they no longer have confidence in the criminal justice system to ensure successful prosecution of criminals. In Harrismith and Bethlehem alone, more than 2,700 head of cattle have been stolen in the past 15 months and more than 300 cases have been reported. But only one arrest has been made.”

 Agri SA, however, acknowledged the SAPS for including farm attacks in the crime statistics. This is an indication of a change in attitude on the part of the police and the fact that they recognise the seriousness of this matter. In this regard, Agri SA also welcomed the new revised rural safety strategy that will be released shortly.

 “Agri SA was actively involved in the drafting of this revised strategy and hopes that it will lend further momentum to farm security and the protection of the agricultural sector.”

The Agri Securitas Trust Fund has since its inception in 1999, assisted in safeguarding thousands of farmers and farm workers. Agri SA and the Trust Fund will continue to strive for the safety of every farmer, farm worker and farming community.

Enquiries:

Tommie Esterhuyse

Chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety

(C) 082 782 0668

Kobus Visser

Agri SA Director: Rural Safety

(C) 082 388 0010

For more information regarding the Agri Securitas Trust Fund, visit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUbn8O0jW7Q&t=10s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_psuf0SYT0


47 Plaasmoorde laat bittere leemte

 Agri SA is bekommerd oor die hoeveelheid plaasmoorde soos vandag deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD) bekendgemaak. Hoewel hierdie syfer ’n daling is van die 62 plaasmoorde in die vorige boekjaar, bly dit enorm en kom dit neer op byna vier moorde per maand. Die oorledenes was deel van noue gemeenskappe en hul moorde laat ’n bittere leemte.

 “Aanvalle op die landbougemeenskap en die brutaliteit daarvan, is onaanvaarbaar en neem kommerwekkende afmetings aan,” sê Tommie Esterhuyse, Agri SA Voorsitter van die Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike Veiligheid. “Alles moet in die stryd gewerp word om dié gemeenskappe, wat verantwoordelik is vir voedselsekerheid in Suid-Afrika, te beskerm.”

 Hoewel die plaasmoordsyfer van die laagste is wat in die afgelope paar jaar aangeteken is, beteken dit nie dat die landbousektor minder paraat kan wees nie. Die tendens lyk belowend, maar die realiteit bly dat 47 moorde steeds 47 te veel is.

 “Plaasaanvalle en -moorde kom al dekades voor en drastiese optrede, ondersteun met die nodige politieke wil, is nodig om dit te voorkom.”

 Agri SA gee erkenning aan die boerderygemeenskap wat hul veiligheidstrukture en plaaslike inisiatiewe opgeskerp het, ten spyte van die hoë koste verbonde hieraan.

 “Landbouers maak noodgedwonge staat op privaat sekuriteitsmaatskappye, omdat die ondersteuning van plaaslike polisiestasies nie voldoende is nie. Die vennootskappe met die privaatsektor werp vrugte af en dra by tot die sukses van misdaadbekamping.”

 Volgens die SAPD se statistieke het veediefstal toegeneem. ’n Agri SA opname het gewys dat eiendomsverwante misdade – veediefstal, die diefstal van plaasinfrastruktuur en implemente – die grootste impak op die landbou het met skade wat miljarde Rande beloop. Veediefstal is al meer die teiken van georganiseerde misdaad en die polisie moet dit as sodanig ondersoek.

 “Die boerderygemeenskap meld al minder eiendomsverwante misdade aan, omdat daar nie meer vertroue in die strafregstelsel is om ’n suksesvolle vervolging van misdadigers te verseker nie. Net in Harrismith en Bethlehem is daar in die afgelope 15 maande meer as 2700 stuksvee gesteel en meer as 300 sake is aangemeld. Maar slegs een arrestasie is in die sake gemaak.”

 Agri SA moet egter erkenning aan die SAPD gee dat plaasaanval-statistiek by misdaad statistieke ingesluit word. Dit dui op ’n gesindheidsverandering by die polisie dat hulle die erns van die saak erken. In die verband verwelkom Agri SA ook die nuwe hersiene landelike beveiligingstrategie wat binnekort vrygestel sal word.

 “Agri SA was aktief betrokke by die opstel van dié hersiene strategie en hoop dit sal verder momentum aan plaasbeveiliging verleen en die landbousektor beskerm.”

 Die Agri Securitas Trustfonds het sedert sy bestaan in 1999, duisende boere en plaaswerkers gehelp beveilig. Agri SA én die Trustfonds sal voortgaan om hulself vir die veiligheid van elke landbouer, plaaswerker en landbougemeenskap te beywer.

 Navrae:

Tommie Esterhuyse

Agri SA Voorsitter van Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike

(S) 082 782 0668

 Kobus Visser

Agri SA Direkteur: Landelike Veiligheid

(S) 082 388 0010

Vir meer oor die Agri Securitas Trustfonds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUbn8O0jW7Q&t=10s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_psuf0SYT0