DA calls for specialised rural police units

Police sign. Photo: SAPS Twitter

The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday called for specialised rural police units to be established following an attack on a farm in Smithfield in the Free State this week.

Patricia Kopane, the party’s premier candidate for Free State, said it was clear that the police lacked the resources to stem attacks on rural communities and this was endangering farmers and farm workers.

She said he asked Sam Mashinini, the provincial MEC for safety and security, for a meeting to discuss the rising number of attacks in rural areas.

“Rural communities in the Free State, this includes farmers, as well as farm workers, are at a high risk of being attacked, it’s sad to note that that SAPS has no real power to protect them due to limited personnel and resources to prevent violent crime in rural areas especially farms,” Kopane said.

She accused the ANC government of lacking any clear plan to deal with the violence.

Smithfield farm owners Dennis and Jeanetta du Plessis are intensive care after they were attacked by two intruders on Sunday.

Lobby groups have pressed President Cyril Ramaphosa on farm killings and sought to draw international attention to the issue. Ramaphosa has resisted separating the attacks from the general high incidence of crime in the country. He told Parliament in September that in 2017, 62 people were murdered on South African farms, accounting for 0.3 percent of all murders countrywide.

“We strongly condemn all murders in the country, including of farmers and farm workers, and are committed to do everything possible to defend every citizen of our country, regardless of where they live and work, from all forms of violence,” the president said.

African News Agency (ANA) / The Citizen