Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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Police Minister on rural security strategy

Police Minister on rural security strategyPolice Minister Fikile Mbalula this week met with the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) as part of ongoing engagements with different stakeholders in South Africa’s agricultural community to curb farm attacks and murders.

He said in a statement following the meeting: “I had a fruitful engagement with the leadership of TAU, and we agreed farm killings are and must be a priority. We reiterate the spirit of the Freedom Charter, South Africa belongs to all those who live in it. Police need to create an environment conducive to farmers for producing and ensuring food security for all our people”.

He told the representative agricultural organisation, headquartered in Pretoria, a national imbizo will be held before year-end to “operationalise the rural security”.

In recent months political parties, including the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and Democratic Alliance (DA) as well as civil society organisation AfriForum, have spoken out about the lack of implementation of any rural security strategy. As an example of the lack of policing in rural areas FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald earlier this year pointed out there were 15 out of 34 police stations in Western Cape, excluding urban areas, where there was no implementation of any aspect of rural security.

A senior police officer who attended the meeting, Major General Stian Nyalungu, indicated police working in offices would be deployed alongside police reservists as a force multiplier during the coming holiday season to responds to farm killing and the general safety of South Africans. He stressed it was only for the holiday season.

Parliament earlier this year debated farm murders following a private member’s motion submitted by Groenewald.

There is no official statistic on farm murders and attacks, rated a priority crime, as the SA Police Service does not keep separate statistics for urban and rural areas.