After years of struggle of the Freedom Front Plus with the ANC government about its denial of the seriousness and extent of farm murders and attacks, it has eventually borne fruit when the minister of police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, undertook to place it high on the agenda of crime fighting strategies in South Africa.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police, said today during the budget debate of the police in Parliament that he welcomes the announcement of the minister and that he is glad that the minister grasps the seriousness and importance of it.
The development follows after Dr. Groenewald had put pressure on the minister in Parliament and asked him whether he would release statistics on farm murders and farm attacks and whether he would comment on it.
In his reply, the minister said, amongst others, that he was very worried about farm attacks and farm murders and that he viewed it in a very serious light.
“It is not only affecting families of the victims, but the society at large and has a negative impact on the country’s economy and food security. These incidents of crime have been placed high on the agenda of crime fighting strategies,” was Nhleko’s reply.
Dr. Groenewald said the minister’s reaction is a step in the right direction and proof that farm attacks and farm murders are a reality which affect many thousands of lives and has an impact on the country as a whole, as the minister had acknowledged himself.
“We will follow up the situation with the minister to also demand accountability from government in the interest of everyone in South Africa,” Dr. Groenewald said.
Dr. Groenewald also referred to statistics of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on incidents where police act violently against the public and said the public cannot trust such a police service.
“In the last financial year, 927 incidents were reported and dealt with according to the annual report of IPID. Things cannot continue like this. The public should feel that they have a police service which takes care of their interests,” Dr. Groenewald said.
Contact no.: 083 627 4397 / 083 419 5403
REPLY OF THE MINISTER:
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 449
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 4 JULY 2014
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 3-2014)
449. Dr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Police:
(1) Whether he will disclose the statistics for farm murders and farm attacks; if not, why not; if so, how many (a) farm murders and (b) farm attacks were there in each case (i) in (aa) 2011, (bb) 2012 and (cc) 2013 and (ii) since January 2014;
(2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?
We are extremely concerned that the issue of farm murders and farm attacks, we view these killings in a very serious light, as it is not only affecting families of the victims that affect the society at large and negatively impact on the economy and food supply. The minister has placed these incidents of crime high on the agenda of crime fighting strategies. The annual release of the National Crime Statistics, under the sub category of contact crimes will depict the effort to curb this crime.
(2) The Minister from time to time may make a statement on this matter including all other incidents.