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Deputy President Mashatile on farm attacks: More vague promises

While farm attacks and murders have been leaving an ever-expanding bloody trail on the South African landscape for decades and even the international community has started to take note if it, the ANC government has nothing to offer but more vague promises of action to combat it.

The FF Plus pointed out to Deputy President Paul Mashatile yesterday in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that the organisation Human Rights Watch stated with regard to the incidence of farm attacks since 1994 that there is a remarkable lack of government intervention in the issue.

According to statistics released by the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), there were 18 attacks and 2 murders countrywide in January this year, 15 attacks and 2 murders in February, 17 attacks and 4 murders in March, 8 attacks and 6 murders in April, 9 attacks and 2 murders in May, 12 attacks and 10 murders in June, and 15 attacks and 4 murders in July. And up until the 26th of August, there had been 10 attacks and 2 murders.

That is a total of 104 attacks and 32 murders with victims being black and white. These chilling figures, although deeply shocking, still do not tell the whole story of the callous brutality characterising these attacks.

Victims are brutally tortured for hours on end and are burned with, among other things, blazing hot cooking oil and irons. That is part of the tragedy.

The FF Plus, consequently, asked the Deputy President what measures are in place to prevent these attacks, which also endanger food security.

Deputy President Mashatile’s response was that the police have been instructed to focus on various types of crime, such as illegal mining activities and farm attacks.

Concerning illegal miners, he said that the police force has already started taking decisive action and a special operation was launched in Soweto to combat crime. He “believes” the same will be done to address farm attacks.

It is clear, in the FF Plus’s opinion, that Mashatile is playing with words and that there is still no feasible plan to take decisive action against farm murders. There is nothing but the same old, vague undertakings and promises.

It instils no confidence whatsoever, so, the FF Plus urges the public, particularly rural communities, to empower themselves and be proactive so as not to become the next victim.

The FF Plus will never cease to highlight the seriousness of farm attacks and to keep informing the international community about the issue.

After 30 years without any decisive plan to effectively combat farm attacks, it is abundantly clear that the ANC is absolutely indifferent to the farming community.

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