Within days of Police Minister Bheki Cele delivering the bad in terms of crime statistics more South Africans were murdered.
This in itself, is not an uncommon occurrence but it raised the ire of a national agricultural organisation because those killed were police and farmers.
“AgriSA strongly condemns all murders of South Africans but especially the murder of farmers and police officers who must ensure citizens have enough food to eat and can live in safety,” Uys van der Westhuijzen, chairman of the organisation’s centre of excellence for rural safety, said.
Cele’s national crime statistics indicate, among others, an increase in farm murders in the third quarter from six in 2019/20 to 19 in 2020/21, well over double. According to the latest statistics five police officers were murdered in the third quarter of last year.
Two police officers were recently murdered in Western Cape and according to reports, the murders happened while they were on duty. The officers were ambushed and shot and their official firearms stolen. The murders are in the aftermath of four police officers killed in KwaZulu-Natal.
“This brings the number of police officers murdered to six in just ten days.
“South Africa cannot tolerate brutal murders of its farmers and police officers. They are strategically important for the country and for maintaining national stability. We call on communities to share crime-related information with police to enable them to take preventive action,” Van der Westhuijzen said.