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Kwanalu

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

Nie méér planne nie – implementeer net | No more planning – just implementation

English to follow:

2 Februarie 2021

Ons het nie meer of nuwe planne nodig om landelike misdaad te bekamp nie – implementeer bloot die Landelike Beveiligingstrategie wat in 2019 bekend gestel is, sê Uys van der Westhuijzen, voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike Veiligheid.

Dit was Agri SA se boodskap aan die werkwinkel van die Inter-ministeriële Komitee (IMC) oor landelike en stedelike veiligheid.

In sy voorlegging het Agri SA ’n oorsig gegee van die belangrikste aspekte van die strategie om landelike misdaad doeltreffender te bekamp. Die uitdagings wat tot konflik kan lei, insluitend betreding, grondbesettings en onwettige protesaksies, is uitgewys.

Die strafregstelsel is een van die belangrikste elemente in die stryd om landelike misdaad te bekamp en verskeie elemente daarvan belemmer tans effektiewe misdaadbekamping. Die tekortkominge is aangedui en voorstelle is gemaak om dit te herstel.

Agri SA het verlede jaar klagtes van haatspraak teenoor die boerderygemeenskap by die Menseregtekommissie (MRK) en die Onafhanklike Verkiesingskommissie (OVK) gelê teen die EFF oor uitlatings wat hulle gemaak het tydens die hofverrigtinge op 16 Oktober 2020 in Senekal. Tydens ’n vergadering met die MRK is Agri SA ingelig dat hulle verskeie klagtes in dié verband ontvang het wat tans ondersoek word. Dit is egter jammer dat die OVK ná vele navrae nog nie gereageer het op Agri SA se skriftelike klagte aan hulle nie. Agri SA gaan voort om die klagte by die OVK op te volg.

Plaasaanvalle het ’n vernietigende uitwerking op boerderygemeenskappe en op menseregte waar landsburgers die reg het om vry te wees van alle vorme van geweld. Dit was die landbougemeenskap die afgelope jare nie beskore nie.

Tydens die vergadering met die MRK is die kritieke rol uitgewys wat die landbou speel in voedselvoorsiening aan die land. Klem is daarop gelê dat, sodra die land sy voedselproduksie vermoë verloor, hongersnood sal intree en kan nasionale stabiliteit ’n risiko word.

“Agri SA is verder van mening dat die Landelike Beveilingstrategie die meerderheid landelike misdade, insluitend plaasaanvalle en –moorde, doeltreffend kan voorkom indien die strategie ten volle geïmplementeer en voorsien word van die nodige hulpbronne,” sê Van der Westhuijzen. “Daar is egter kommer by ons dat van die belangrikste elemente van die strategie wat teen die einde van Maart 2021 in plek moet wees, nie geïmplementeer sal wees nie.”

Volgens Van der Westhuijzen word gevolglik ’n dringende beroep op die polisiebestuur gedoen om aandag aan die implementering van die elemente te gee. “Agri SA het ook sy ondersteuning aan die strategie gegee en ’n hand van samewerking aan die polisie gebied om te help met die meer effektiewe implementering van die strategie.”

Die insette aan die werkwinkel, van ander georganiseerde landbou-organisasies en organisasies met ’n belang in die landelike gebied sal nou saam met dié van Agri SA gekonsolideer word in ’n verslag vir oorweging deur die IMC. Die IMC sal daarna voorstelle aan die regering maak oor die verdere hantering van sy voorstelle om landelike misdade doeltreffender te bekamp.

Van der Westhuijzen het ten slotte Agri SA se waardering uitgespreek teenoor minister Thoko Didiza se veroordeling van die onlangse plaasaanval in Crowder naby Umkhomazi in KwaZulu-Natal. “Agri SA het ook waardering vir die erkenning wat die minister gegee het aan die belangrike rol van boere en plaaswerkers in volhoubare voedselproduksie vir die land en die kontinent.”

Navrae:

Uys van der Westhuijzen

Voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike Veiligheid

Kobus Visser

Direkteur: Agri SA Landelike Veiligheid en Provinsiale Sake

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2 February 2021

“We don’t need more or any new plans to curb rural crime – just implement the Rural Safety Strategy that was launched in 2019,” said Uys van der Westhuijzen, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety.

This was Agri SA’s message to a workshop of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on rural and urban safety.

In its presentation, Agri SA provided an overview of the most important aspects of the strategy to combat rural crime more effectively. Challenges that can lead to conflict, such as trespassing, land invasions and unlawful protests, were highlighted.

The criminal justice system is one of the most important elements in the battle to combat rural crime. Various aspects thereof are currently ineffective. The shortcomings have been identified and proposals were made to address them.

Agri SA has lodged complaints the previous year with the Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), as well as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), in relation to hate speech by members of the EFF aimed at the farming community during the court proceedings in Senekal on 16 October 2020. During a meeting with the SAHRC, Agri SA was informed that they had received various complaints in this regard, which were presently under investigation. It is regrettable, however, that despite several enquiries, the IEC has not yet responded to Agri SA’s written complaints. Agri SA will continue to follow up these complaints with the IEC.

Farm attacks have a devastating impact on farming communities, as well as on human rights where citizens of this country have the right to be free of all forms of violence. This is something the agricultural community has not experienced over the past few years.

During the meeting with the SAHRC, the commission was reminded of the critical role that agriculture plays in food production for the nation, with a warning that should the country lose its capacity to produce food, the result could be starvation, which holds a risk for national stability.

“Agri SA is also of the opinion that the Rural Safety Strategy could prevent most rural crime, including farm attacks and murders, if it is implemented fully and the necessary resources are made available,” said Van der Westhuijzen. “We are concerned, however, that the most important elements of the strategy, which should be in place by the end of March 2021, will not be implemented. For this reason, we call on the police management to attend urgently to the implementation of these elements. Agri SA also expressed its support for the strategy and assured the police of its cooperation in ensuring more effective implementation of the strategy.”

The inputs that other organised agriculture organisations, as well as organisations with an interest in rural areas, provided at the workshop will now be consolidated into a report for consideration by the IMC. The IMC will then make proposals to the government, also regarding to further handling of its proposals to combat rural crime more effectively.

In closing, Van der Westhuijzen said that Agri SA appreciates minister Thoko Didiza’s condemnation of the recent farm attack in Crowder near Umkhomazi in KwaZulu-Natal. “Agri SA also welcomes the minister’s recognition of the important role that farmers and farm workers play in sustainable food production in South Africa and the African continent.”

Enquiries

Uys van der Westhuijzen

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

Kobus Visser

Director: Agri SA Rural Safety and Provincial Affairs