Commissioner Danny Titus said the justice system was not strong enough in tackling crime on the farms. He was speaking in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, during the launch of the report of the SAHRC’s national investigative hearing into the safety and security challenges in farming communities.
“Farms are seen as so targets … we have to improve our justice system. To the victims we would like to say: you are not alone.”
The hearing was carried out after Afrikaner rights group AfriForum approached the commission in an attempt to find a solution to farm attacks, added Titus. In its submission to the hearing, AfriForum recommended, among other things, that farm attacks be treated as a priority crime.
It called for the establishment of specialist units for rural safety. Farmers’ unions, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) were among the other organisations that also made submissions.
FF+ called on the ANC to condemn comments made by radicals in its organisational and policy conferences. The party said this would ensure the issue of land reform was not used in ANC policy formulation as a political tool to obtain short-term gains for individual leaders.
The SAPS said Operation Sizanani, a multifaceted and integrated rural safety operation, was implemented from August 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014 in all provinces to address the safety of rural communities and stock theft.
- Farm incidents and murders
- Period between 2010 and 2011: 665 incidents at farms and 71 murders across the country.
- 2011/2012: 514 incidents and 56 murders.
- 2012/2013: 556 incidents and 60 murders. 2013/2014: 492 incidents and 58 murders.
- The stats were provided by the SAPS in its submission to the hearing panel. SAHRC is worried about safety on farms.