Gauteng is widely – and correctly – seen as the economic hub of South Africa. It is also home to agriculture with this mostly rural population not immune to the dangers faced by their compatriots in more recognised farming areas.
This was again demonstrated last weekend when two elderly people were murdered on their smallholding at Bapsfontein, in the Ekurhuleni metro in eastern Gauteng.
A Parliamentarian tasked with being one of his party’s rural crime court watchers said “barely one in 20 farm attacks in Gauteng over the past eight months has resulted in an arrest”.
“It’s clear police are either incapable or unwilling to implement rural safety plans in Gauteng,” Adrian Roos said.
According to a Democratic Alliance (DA) statement: “In response to a Parliamentary question on the status of farm murders in Gauteng reported between June and September 2020, several recent farm murders were not even on the list provided by police”.
“Gauteng police have shown they are unable to adequately track and report on farm attacks and it is clear citizens need to be empowered to hold them to account where they fail and work closer with those who want to protect the vulnerable in rural areas.
“Recognising this need the DA introduced the Community Safety Oversight Bill in the Gauteng legislature. The functions of oversight are, in terms of the Bill, focused on detecting patterns and practices of police conduct, identifying systemic failures in the police system and making recommendations on how best to improve policing in Gauteng.”