Farm attacks deserve the same priority as continental deployments – FF+


While the current national focus is understandably on events outside South Africa, surely government should be paying more attention to internal security particularly as regards attacks and murders in the wider agricultural sector.

This question was posed by FF+ defence spokesman Pieter Groenewald in the wake of two more murders in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg. The area is largely rural with any number of smallholdings as well as a number of tourist related businesses and small to medium enterprises.
“It is understandable that South Africa, for strategic reasons, is actively involved in Africa but has it not become time for government to do more in protection terms for one of its most important strategic resources at home – the agricultural sector,” he asked.

The latest Muldersdrift murders bring to 17 the number of people killed in farm attacks to date this year with 44 injured according to statistics compiled by the Transvaal Agricultural Union. The agricultural representative body compiles its own statistics on farm attacks and murders because the SA Police Service and its Ministry do not recognise farm murders as a separate crime category.
“While not condoning in any way the death of 13 soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) the number of farm related deaths are three higher.
“The time has come for government to spend as much time, money and effort on protecting the country’s agricultural sector as it does on continental security efforts,” he said.

He also called on government to fully account for its actions in sending troops to CAR. This in the wake of allegations that soldiers from 1 Parachute Battalion were on the ground in the beleaguered country to do more than protect South African military assets.
“Attacks on the agricultural community continue unabated and still government appears not to want to declare it a priority crime with nothing extra being done to protect a valuable national asset,” Groenewald said.