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Verskerpte paraatheid en waaksaamheid in feestyd nodig | Be more alert and prepared during festive season

English to follow:

3 Desember 2019

Verskerpte paraatheid en waaksaamheid in feestyd nodig

In ‘n gesamentlike verklaring, het Agri SA en TLU SA vandag gesê dat dit moeilik is om hulle lede tot kalmte te maan om nie onverantwoordelik op te tree nie, te midde van die voortslepende voorkoms van plaasaanvalle en die misdaadgolf wat die landbougemeenskap verswelg.

Die 53 moorde wat deur die organisasies vanjaar aangeteken is, in vergelyking met die 54 wat verlede jaar voorgekom het, is onrusbarend en kan nog styg tot die einde van die jaar. Daar is reeds 383 plaasaanvalle vanjaar aangeteken, teenoor die 394 van 2018. Dit is aanduidend van die misdaadrisiko waaraan boere en plaaswerkers daagliks aan bloot gestel is.

Beide organisasies se veiligheidstrukture het na afloop van ‘n onlangse gesprek hulle ten gunste daarvan uitgespreek om ‘n Landelike Beveiligingskoördineringsforum te vestig om samewerking en eenheid oor landelike veiligheid te bevorder binne die hersiene Landelike Beveiligingstrategie. Die forum sal ook ‘n rol speel in die koördinering van ‘n eenvormige standpunt en/of beleid oor landelike veiligheid en samewerking tot op grondvlak bevorder. Aangesien veediefstal die grootste misdaadbedreiging vir veeboere is, sal die Veediefstalvoorkomingsforum deel van die Veiligheidskoördineringsforum wees.

Die naderende feestyd bied geleenthede aan misdadigers om toe te slaan op niks vermoedende mense. Dit is daarom noodsaaklik dat die boerderygemeenskap hulle paraatheid sal opskerp en voortdurend waaksaam sal wees. Beide organisasies het ‘n dringende beroep op die polisie gedoen om in hulle beplanning vir die feestyd ‘n verskerpte poging aan te wend om die landbougemeenskap te beskerm, deur verhoogde sigbare polisiëring en deur misdaadvoorkomingsoperasies.

Die volgende goeie gewoontes ten opsigte van veiligheid gedurende die feestyd behoort ernstig oorweeg te word:

  • Die grondeienaar moet die protokol vir plaastoegang toepas en op sy regte as eienaar van sy plaas staan. Pas effektiewe toegangsbeheer toe en wees altyd bewus van wie jou plaas besoek.
  • Grondeienaars moet betrokke raak by hulle plaaslike georganiseerde landboustrukture en plaaswagte.
  • Maak seker dat alternatiewe kommunikasiemiddele soos radio’s, beskikbaar is vir noodkommunikasie tydens krag- en selfoon onderbrekings.
  • Vermy sover moontlik die verkoop van plaasprodukte direk van die plaas, veral noudat bek-en-klouseer sy kop uitgesteek het. Dit het die lewens van talle boere reeds gekos, soos die onlangse skietdood van die boer van Wolmaranstad, waar misdadigers onder die voorwendsel om skape te koop, die boer koelbloedig doodgeskiet het. In ‘n ander voorval is ‘n boer ernstig aangerand deur voornemende veekopers.
  • Maak seker dat behoorlike kontrole uitgeoefen word, oor landbou insette en -toerusting en dat dit in die nag behoorlik toegesluit word.
  • Maak seker van die beskikbaarheid van regsverteenwoordiging en watter staatsaanklaers beskikbaar is.
  • Wees daarop bedag dat veediefstal in die tyd mag toeneem, tel jou vee gereeld en wees bewus van waar jou vee wei.
  • Wanneer jy op vakansie gaan, maak seker dat waardevolle besittings soos onder andere vuurwapens veilig geberg is.
  • Maak besoekers deel van jou veiligheidsbeplanning, sodat hulle ten volle ingelig is hoe om in ‘n noodsituasie op te tree.

Geen beskermingsmaatreëls is ‘n waarborg dat ‘n plaasaanval of misdaad nie sal plaasvind nie, maar dit kan ‘n aanval vertraag of bemoeilik en inwoners die geleentheid gee om alarm te maak. ‘n Beroep word op die landbougemeenskap gedoen om in die tyd hulle vlakke van paraatheid en veiligheid te verhoog en die basiese beveiligingmaatreëls soos huis- en haard beskerming, streng toe te pas. Meld alle verdagte optrede en -persone by jou naaste polisiestasie aan en goeie kommunikasie met die plaaslike polisie is noodsaaklik en moet gehandhaaf word.

Navrae

Tommie Esterhuyse, Voorsitter Agri SA Sentrum van Uitnemendheid:  Landelike Veiligheid

Sel:  082 782 0668

Henry Geldenhuys, Voorsitter TLU SA:  Veiligheidskomitee

Sel:  083 560 1273

*************************************

3 December 2019

 Agri SA and TLU SA, in a joint statement issued today, said it was difficult to urge their members to remain calm and refrain from acting irresponsibly while farm attacks and crime against the farming community continue unabated.

The 53 murders recorded by these organisations this year, compared to 54 last year, are disturbing. This figure could still increase by the end of the year. There have already been 383 farm attacks this year, compared to 394 in 2018. This is indicative of the risk to which farmers and farm workers are exposed every day.

After recent discussions, the security structures of both organisations indicated that they were in favour of the creation of a Rural Safety Coordinating Forum to promote cooperation and unity within the revised Rural Safety Strategy. The forum will also play a role in coordinating a uniform viewpoint and/or policy on rural safety and promote cooperation down to grassroots level. Since stock theft poses the greatest threat to stock farmers, the Stock Theft Prevention Forum will form part of the proposed Rural Safety Coordinating Forum.

The forthcoming festive season offers criminals an opportunity to attack unsuspecting people. For this reason, it is important that the farming community be more alert and better prepared. Both organisations called on the police to strengthen their efforts to protect the farming community when they do their planning for the festive season, through heighten visible policing and by conducting crime prevention operations.

Adopting the following good habits during the festive season should be seriously considered:

  • Landowners must apply the protocol for farm access and insist on their rights as owner of the farm. Apply effective access control and always be aware of visitors on your farm.
  • Landowners must become involved in their local organised agriculture and Farm Watch structures.
  • Make sure that alternative communication sources, such as radios, are available in the event of power outages and disruption in cell phone reception.
  • Avoid selling farm products directly from the farm as far as possible, especially now that foot-and-mouth disease has broken out. This has already cost many farmers their lives, for example the recent shooting of a farmer from Wolmaransstad where criminals, on the pretext of buying sheep, shot him in cold blood. In another incident in Clocolan, a farmer was seriously assaulted by prospective livestock buyers.
  • Make sure that proper control is exercised over farming inputs and equipment and that these are securely locked up at night.
  • Make sure about the availability of legal representation and determine which state prosecutors are available.
  • Be aware that stock theft might increase during this time. Count your animals regularly and know where they are grazing.
  • When you go on holiday, make sure that valuable possessions such as firearms are stored safely.
  • Make visitors part of your security planning so that they know exactly how to act in an emergency situation.

Protective measures are never a guarantee that a farm attack or crime will not occur, but they could delay or foil an attack and give people an opportunity to raise the alarm. We call on the farming community to be more alert and to step up their security and apply their basic security measures, such as home and hurth protection, strictly. Report all suspicious-looking people and activities to your nearest police station. It is essential to maintain good communication with the local police.

Enquiries:

Tommie Esterhuyse, Chair Agri SA Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety

Cell:  082 782 0668

Henry Geldenhuys, Chair TLU SA: Safety Committee

Cell: 083 560 1273