Policing in rural areas set to improve


Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says his department will look into ways of improving rural safety and policing to strengthen security in rural areas and farms across South Africa.

Nhleko was speaking during a visit to families affected by recent crimes in Boschkop and nearby areas, east of Pretoria.

He visited a hospitalised farmer who was attacked and burnt in his house, during a house robbery and also called on the widow of a farmer killed earlier this year in the same area.

The Minister said government will roll out a rural safety strategy to address the increasing number of farm murders and related crimes.
“The strategy will include stop-and-search campaigns, roadblocks, farm visits and issues of compliance.”

He said by October the Police Ministry together with Community Policing Forums (CPF) will make an assessment to outline gaps that need interventions.
“As police we can’t do it alone. We need communities to participate, including NGOs and CPFs,” Nhleko added.

Major-General Tebello Mosikili said four people were arrested for Groenewald’s husband murder.

Boschkop police said they formed a partnership with the CPF in their community and Bronkhorstspruit, Cullinan, Ekangala and Welbekend.

CPF Cluster chair Charmaine Ras, who is in charge of the five branches, said Boschkop police station was under-resourced making it difficult for police to do their job.
“There are nine vehicles at the garage that are not serviceable … this is a huge challenge for police in our area. The vehicles we currently have in the station are not fit for the roads in this area, they can only patrol on main roads,” Ras said.

Boschkop police station was short of detectives, as it had only nine when 17 were needed.

AfriForum chairman, Dawie Badenhorst, said in the last month there were about 28 hijackings in Boschkop.