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Ventersburg: Free State government’s instability exacerbates rural safety problem

The spike in trespassing on private properties as well as the illegal hunting of game and livestock is the direct result of a lack of leadership in the Free State government and prominent politicians’ populist statements.

A farmer from Ventersburg, Piet Kleynhans (62), was arrested on Monday morning on charges of attempted murder after he shot and killed dogs that were used for illegal hunting in a field on Saturday.

His bail application was granted on Thursday.

Kleynhans has already lodged numerous complaints about the illegal hunters.

In many cases, police officers give farmers a cold shoulder when they report incidents of trespassing and illegal hunting.

The ANC and EFF politicians' frequent inflammatory statements against farmers undoubtedly contribute to the unsafe conditions in rural areas.

These politicians are supposed to protect communities, but instead, they are making populist statements.

Meanwhile, the former Free State MEC for Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini, was paid a generous salary while the Premier had put him on special leave before he was eventually replaced by a new MEC.

Mashinini is known for his strong ties with, among others, Ace Magashule and Jacob Zuma.

In addition, Mashinini's long leave of absence created a vacuum as regards leadership in the Department. Thus, the Free State government – under the leadership of its Premier, Sisi Ntombela – is effectively part of the problem when it comes to rural safety because the Department is failing to address the problem as it is internally unstable.

Instead of improving rural safety, the ANC is focused on internal power struggles in its fight for survival in the runup to the upcoming local government elections.

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