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Farm Murders to be prioritised – Minister of Police


Throughout THG’s far-flung distribution area, and indeed, throughout the entire country, the on-going vicious circle of shockingly brutal farm attacks and farm murders is a tragic daily occurrence. Since a government imposed moratorium on the publication of farm attack statistics has been in place for a number of years now, it is also extremely difficult to ascertain the full extent of the butcher’s bill. One reliable source has published figures claiming that more than 3 300 victims have been slaughtered in over 9 400 attacks since the advent of our “new democracy” in 1994. For years, various organisations such as AfriForum and Solidarity have repeatedly highlighted the ever-escalating spiral of violence in an attempt to get government to prioritise and deal with the problem, and take real and meaningful steps to stop the killing. With heartbreakingly little success.

Now, with the announcement in Parliament on 22 July by the new Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, that farm murders should be prioritised, perhaps at last, there may be some small chink of light in the darkness. Speaking in answer to a question posed to him by the Freedom Front Plus, the minister further stated that the (police) Ministry has given an undertaking that it will “study the petition” submitted by AfriForum on 26 June which contained the names of over 60 000 South Africans urgently calling for the government to act decisively to stop farm attacks and will, subsequently, engage with AfriForum in a follow up meeting to discuss the “way forward”.

Whereas, this (albeit tacit) admission by Minister Nhleko that the issue of farm attacks and farm murders is very real and very urgent and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency is only, at this stage, a recognition of the greater problem, it is a start. And a start is better than nothing. Readers who are, perhaps, unaware of the full horrific extent of this brutal scourge, should take a few minutes to Google “Farm Attacks” or “Farm Murders” and review some of the harrowing images and personal accounts that are freely available in the public domain. The results are truly shocking and left this journalist mute at the full shocking extent of the problem that faces many of THG’s rural readership on a daily basis.

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