Home South African Deputy president to hold special meeting on farm attacks

Deputy president to hold special meeting on farm attacks

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The meeting will focus on ways to curb the violent attacks, which according to Deputy President David Mabuza have a negative impact on food production and food security

A man walks through a field of crosses erected near Pretoria to honour farmers who have died in farm attacks. Picture: Juda Ngwenya, Reuters

SOUTH Africa’s Deputy President David Mabuza will on Friday summon members of the inter-ministerial committee on land reform and agriculture to deliberate on the recent spike in farm attacks and murders across the country.

The meeting will focus on ways to curb the violent attacks, which according to Mabuza have a negative impact on food production and food security.

“The lives of farmers, farmworkers and farm dwellers, as well as every citizen of the country, black and white, matter. It is for this reason that the government will continue to work with the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to ensure prevention as a priority in dealing with farm murders,” said Mabuza.

Mabuza’s sentiments follow yet another brutal murder of a couple in their 60s in KwaZulu-Natal who were gunned down on their farm in Normandien, west of the Durban central business district.

Glen, 63, and Vida, 60, Rafferty were shot by unknown assailants on Saturday evening. Their dog was also killed.

In another recent attack, suspects slit the throat of a pregnant woman on her farm in Weenen, KZN.

On Tuesday, members of Parliament will also discuss the rise in farm attacks following a request by the DA in June.

“The lockdown laid bare the desperate challenges in safety and policing in rural South Africa as well as the lack of care and action on the part of the ANC government to address this crisis,” said DA national communications officer Debreé Kluge on Monday.

Mabuza said: “Even in difficult times, our prevailing challenges must not lead us to despair and to engage in all that is against our humanity as a people.

“We must remain resolute in building a better South Africa that values human life.”

According to the Pretoria-based commercial farmers union TLU SA, between April and June there were 68 farm attacks and 12 murders.

Chris van Zyl, general manager at TLU SA, said the level of violence displayed in the attacks did not tally with obvious motives such as robbery and theft.

“The analysis of murder victims shows without a doubt that white farmers, families and farmworkers make up two-thirds of murder victims. The particularly high levels of violence and torture indicate a high level of racial hatred, which deeply concerns us,” Van Zyl said.

– African News Agency