Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Noko Masipa, MP
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has written back to the Democratic Alliance (DA) acknowledging receipt of the letter that we submitted asking him to consider setting up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the increasing prevalence of farm murders and attacks across the country. Over the past week, heinous farm murders occurred in both Limpopo and the Western Cape, resulting in the loss of innocent lives.
The Commission of Inquiry will allow for a thorough investigation into the underlying causes of these crimes and provide recommendations for comprehensive measures to safeguard our farming communities.
Despite the frequency of farm attacks and murders, the DA, and indeed the whole of South Africa, remains perplexed that not much is being done to protect our farmers from criminal elements that are terrorizing our rural communities. Lawlessness has taken root on our farms and rural communities but nothing is being done to deal with the scourge decisively.
If we continue to pursue rural crime prevention as a separate activity from food production value chain, we will continue to expose our farmers and rural residents to criminal networks. It doesn’t help that government is only good at making promises on rural safety but has repeatedly failed to follow this up with tangible action.
During Police Minister Bheki Cele’s recent budget vote, he failed to mention any progress made on rural safety or rural crime in his speech. Despite having recently developed a Rural Safety Strategy, there are already doubts on SAPS’ commitment to fight rural crime because of broken promises in the past.
The lives of our farmers and rural communities are under severe risk and President Ramaphosa can either choose to accede to the DA’s request for a Commission of Inquiry or turn a blind eye as criminals terrorize our farming communities. Bheki Cele and his SAPS are clearly failing people in rural areas despite an existing rural safety plan.
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