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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Boerderygemeenskap se veiligheid ‘n prioriteit gedurende feesseisoen | Farming community’s safety is a priority during festive season

English to follow:

7 Desember 2021

“Die hoë misdaadvlakke en veral plaasaanvalle, soos die wat weer die laaste tyd opgevlam het, het verskeie boerdery-ondernemings ingrypend geraak. Agri SA doen daarom ‘n dringende beroep op die polisie om die veiligheid van die boerderygemeenskap te prioritiseer in die uitvoering van die Nasionale Veiliger Feesseisoen Operasie soos onlangs bekend gemaak deur die Minister van Polisie,” sê Uys van der Westhuijzen, voorsitter Agri SA Sentrum van Uitnemendheid Landelike Beveiliging.

Agri SA verwelkom die aankondiging van die Nasionale Kommissaris van Polisie dat die Landelike Beveiligingstrategie in dié tyd gebruik sal word om te handel met aanvalle op die boerderygemeenskap en veediefstal. Die polisie se fokus op sigbare polisiëring en misdaadvoorkomingsoperasies kan in die feestyd bydra tot ‘n daling in misdaad. Om ‘n ferm boodskap aan misdadigers te stuur dat misdaad in die gebied nie geduld sal word nie is dit belangrik dat die operasie ook in die landelike gebiede sigbaar uitgevoer word.

Boere lei groot verliese weens ‘n toename in produk-, inset diefstal en plundering op plase. Hoë risiko misdade soos die onwettige jag met honde veral deur georganiseerde groepe, hou ‘n verdere bedreiging in vir die veiligheid van die boerderygemeenskap. Dié misdadigers sal nie huiwer om geweld te gebruik indien hulle gekonfronteer sou word nie. Dit hou ook ‘n bedreiging in vir die wildlewe wat op die wyse gestroop en blootgestel word aan erge trauma.

‘n Proaktiewe benadering deur die polisie is nodig in die uitvoering van nasionale instruksies om betreding en grondbesetting te voorkom wat ‘n verdere konflik potensiaal het indien dit nie onmiddellik deur die polisie hanteer word nie. “Die polisie moet met erns op bogenoemde en hoë risiko misdaad klagtes wat aan hulle gerapporteer word reageer en hulle regsplig uitvoer en nie passief toekyk sonder om die slagoffer se regte aan effektiewe polisiëring in ag te neem,” sê Van der Westhuijzen.

Van der Westhuijzen sê voorts dat “Agri SA deeglik bewus is van die frustrasie van boere met die hoë voorkoms van misdaad waarmee hulle daagliks te make het. Boere moet egter nie moedeloos raak nie want gesamentlik kan ons die beste oplossings vir die uitdagings vind. Agri SA gee ook erkenning aan die bydrae wat boere maak in hulle gemeenskappe om landelike misdaad te bekamp deur op verskeie veiligheidstrukture te dien in belang van die organisasie en hulle medeboere. Ons weet dit verg baie tyd, opoffering weg van hulle besigheid en tap individue en boerderye se finansies.”

Hy doen laastens ‘n beroep op die boerderygemeenskap om nie hulle waaksaamheid gedurende die feesseisoen te verslap nie maar aktief by hulle plaaslike georganiseerde landbou- en veiligheidstrukture betrokke te raak en te bly. Dit is egter ook belangrik dat skakeling met die plaaslike polisie behou word en dat alle misdaad en verdagte optrede onmiddellik aan die polisie gerapporteer word. Van der Westhuijzen wens elke boer, plaaswerker en polisiebeampte wat deel het aan die landelike veiligheidstrukture, ‘n geseënde en veilige Kersseisoen toe.

Navrae:

Kobus Visser Direkteur:

Agri SA Landelike Veiligheid en Provinsiale Sake

Uys van der Westhuijzen

Voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike Veiligheid

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7 December 2021

“The high crime levels, particularly farm attacks which recently flared up again, have had a devastating impact on various farming operations. For this reason, Agri SA urges the police to prioritise the security of the farming community when implementing their National Safer Festive Season Operation, as recently announced by the Minister of Police,” said Uys van der Westhuijzen, Chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety.

Agri SA welcomes the National Commissioner of Police’s announcement that the Rural Safety Strategy would be applied during this time to deal with stock theft and attacks on the farming community. The police’s focus on visible policing and crime prevention operations during the festive period could contribute towards crime reduction. In order to send a clear message to criminals that crime would not be tolerated in these communities , it is important that the operation also be conducted visibly in rural areas.

Farmers suffer enormous losses due to an increase in product and input theft and looting on farms. High-risk crimes such as illegal hunting with dogs, especially in organised groups, pose a further threat to the safety of the farming community. These criminals will not hesitate to use violence if confronted. This also poses a threat to wildlife that are poached in this manner and exposed to serious trauma.

The police need to follow a proactive approach in implementing national instructions to prevent trespassing and land invasions, which have the potential of creating further conflict if not dealt with promptly by the police. “The police must take the above seriously and do their legal duty instead of standing by passively without considering the victim’s right to effective policing”, said Van der Westhuijzen. V

an der Westhuijzen continued “Agri SA is fully aware of farmers’ frustration with the high incidence of crime they face daily. Farmers should not despair, however, because we can, together, find solutions to these challenges. Agri SA also acknowledges those farmers who contribute towards curbing rural crime within their communities and who serve in various security structures in the interest of the organisation and their fellow farmers. We are aware that it requires sacrifice and a lot of time away from their businesses and that it places a financial burden on those individuals and their farming operations.” In closing, he called on the farming community not to lower their guard during the festive season but rather to become, and remain, actively involved in their organised agriculture en security structures. It is also important, however, to continue liaising with the local police and to report all crime and suspicious behaviour immediately. Van der Westhuijzen wished every farmer, farm worker and police officer who form part of the rural safety structures, a blessed and safe festive season.

Enquiries:

Kobus Visser

Director: Agri SA Rural Safety and Provincial Affairs

Uys van der Westhuijzen

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