Farm attacks and murders brought to Mashatile’s attention

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A Freedom Front Plus (FF+) public representative took South Africa’s Deputy President to task for “a remarkable lack of intervention” in farm attacks and murders.

As part of Paul Mashatile’s question and answer session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) last week, Fanie du Toit quoted the international NGO (non-government organisation) Human Rights Watch (HRW) when asking what measures have been taken to prevent farm attacks. HRW, according to Du Toit, has it government is largely silent. Mashatile’s response, as per a FF+ statement, reads police are “instructed to focus on various types of crime, such as illegal mining activities and farm attacks”.

This, Du Toit said, was “playing with words” adding there “is still no feasible plan to take decisive action against farm murders”.

“There is nothing but the same old vague undertakings and promises.”

In support of his question, Du Toit quoted Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) statistics showing 18 attacks and two murders nationally in January, 15 attacks and two more murders in February, 17 attacks and for murders in March, eight attacks and six murders in April, nine attacks and two murders in May, 12 attacks and 10 murders in June, and 15 attacks and four murders in July. Up to 26 August there were 10 attacks and two murders.

“This is 104 attacks and 32 murders with black and white victims. These chilling figures, although shocking, do not tell the full story of the callous brutality characterising these attacks. Victims are brutally tortured for hours on end and are burned with, among others, hot cooking oil and irons.”