Farmers’ union hopeful about decline in farm attacks, murders
Commercial farmers’ union TLU SA said it hoped a reported decline in farm attacks and murders — with no killings last month — would continue for the rest of the year.
The union said there were 20 farm attacks but no murders in January.
This was in contrast to 35 farm attacks and six murders registered in January last year, and the 39 farm attacks and five murders recorded in January 2018.
“Based on this register, we trust the slightly more favourable situation will continue for the rest of the year,” TLU SA’s deputy general manager, Major-General Chris van Zyl, said.
Van Zyl said the positive trend could possibly be attributed to better safety and security awareness among farmers and smallholding residents, as well as quick reactions by neighbours and farm patrols.
“However, the continuing trend of almost one attack per day, of which we are aware of, is still unacceptably high,” he said in a statement.
“The data of 2019 in comparison with the data from 2018 still shows a rise in both the number of registered attacks — 419 to 394 — and the number of murders — 56 to 54.
“In light of this, TLU SA is still calling on the government to pay more attention to the prevalence of attacks and other crime on farms.”
The union said a number of points should receive attention during meetings with national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole.
These included the need for an agriculture-friendly reservist system and the re-categorisation of farm attacks and murders as priority crimes. — TimesLIVE