DA expresses condolences to family of victim of Bethlehem farm attack

Supporters of the #BlackMonday picket along Hendrik Potgieter Road, 30 October 2017, as they protest against farm murders. Picture: Michel Bega

The DA says statistics indicate that the SAPS are not receiving the necessary support to prevent violent attacks on farms against farmers and their employees.

The DA has expressed its condolences to the family and friends of Mimie Frost, who lost her life on Friday night during a farm attack outside Bethlehem in the Free State.

The DA’s Dr Roy Jankielsohn said in a statement on Saturday that one suspect had been apprehended, adding that the DA called on the SAPS and NPA to ensure that all the perpetrators who were involved were detected, prosecuted and punished.

“This brutal crime against a vulnerable woman is committed during a time that much focus has been placed on crimes against women and children in South Africa.

“Politicians such as Ace Magashule, who this week questioned why white people are not targeted alongside foreigners during xenophobic attacks, must also take some responsibility for such acts of violence,” Jankielsohn said.

Murder remained on average very high during farm attacks and the type of violence that accompanied farm attacks was also more excessive than in other cases, he added.

“It is sad that politicians such as Magashule and Julius Malema constantly make comments that could be construed as incitement to commit racial violence in South Africa,” he said.

Jankielsohn said trained personnel and vehicles remained a constraint for the SAPS to implement effective crime prevention strategies in rural areas, such as visible policing through regular patrols.

He said statistics indicated that the SAPS was not receiving the necessary support to prevent these violent attacks on farms against farmers and their employees.

“The phasing out of the commandos left rural communities vulnerable, which is why the DA believes in introducing specialised rural safety units in the SAPS to protect people in rural areas, especially people residing on farms and smallholdings. Such units should receive specialised tactical training and weapons.

“The safety and security of our people in the Free State remains a concern for the DA which is why we have submitted a Community Policing Bill in the Legislature that will ensure greater cooperation between the SAPS and communities, more support for local efforts to prevent crime such a neighbourhood watches, a provincial police Ombudsman to deal with complaints, and greater oversight over the SAPS by the responsible MEC and Legislature.”

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