The vengeful farm attacks and the events in Coligny this past week tarnish the image of South Africa. Agri SA and the farming community feel frustrated that farmers continue to be targeted by criminal elements who fail to realise the important role that farmers and farm workers play in meeting the country’s food requirements and the contribution they make towards rural development and stability,” said Kobus Breytenbach who chairs Agri SA’s Rural Safety Committee.
The vulnerability of the farming community is no justification for attackers to continue targeting the community, ignoring the important role they fulfil in the progress of the country and its people. Agriculture and those who live and work within the sector are an asset to the country and should therefore be protected and supported at all cost to assist in achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan.
Farm attacks are carried out by criminal elements who strive solely for self-enrichment and do not attach any value to human life and the contribution that these communities make in promoting nation building and prosperity in the country. Recent media reports confirm that farm attackers steal mainly money, firearms and cell phones, which are then traded illegally and used to commit other crimes.
According to media reports, none of the attackers has yet been arrested. Agri SA called urgently on the police to do everything in their power to find and arrest the perpetrators. “The communities where these attackers live could have information about the people involved and we urge them to come forward to assist the police to solve these cases swiftly. It is important for the farming community to see that justice has prevailed and that the heaviest possible sentences are imposed in the event of convictions,” said Breytenbach.
Breytenbach sympathised with the victims’ and their next of kin and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “We urge the farming community to cooperate with the police within the structures of the Rural Safety Strategy in order to combat rural crime. We also call on farmers and farm workers to apply the necessary safety measures, which are vital in curbing farm attacks,” said Breytenbach.
In closing, Breytenbach said “the Agri Securitas Trust Fund provides assistance to various farming communities to upgrade their security measures and to safeguard themselves against rural crime”.
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