Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza added her voice to those speaking out against the lack of rural security especially concerning farm attacks.
The Cabinet Minister charged by President Cyril Ramaphosa with the overall well-being of South Africa’s agricultural community to ensure national food security, went public after an 80-year-old farmer and his wife were attacked in southern KwaZulu-Natal.
Farm attacks, including murder and the alleged use of torture, as well as other criminal acts against farmers and those working the land, are regularly condemned by political parties and agricultural organisations.
Pieter Groenewald’s Freedom Front Plus (FF+) has long contended government is lacking when it comes to rural security and maintains the SA Police Service (SAPS) drags its heels on implementation of the rural security plan. The Democratic Alliance (DA), apart from being vocal about the lack of action taken on rural crime, instituted a provincial court watch system for rural offences. This aims to ensure when suspects appear in court on charges related to rural crime their cases are given the necessary, proper legal attention.
Agricultural organisations including AgriSA and TAU (Transvaal Agricultural Union) meet regularly with senior police management on rural security issues and also encourage members to band together to effectively combat rural crime.
Following the attack in Crowder in southern KwaZulu-Natal Didiza said: “An attack on a farmer is an attack on the country’s food security. Their role is important in ensuring sustainable food production for the nation and the continent”.
She called on law enforcement agencies to “do whatever it takes to apprehend these criminals, so that law takes its cause (sic)”.