Cops continue to investigate multiple farm attacks in Pretoria

A farmer, along with his workers busy harvesting cabbage.

Attempted murder, theft and house robberies were among the farm attack-related dockets police were investigating.

Investigations into farm attacks in the north of Pretoria were continuing, confirmed police spokesperson Captain Matthews Nkoadi to Rekord this week.

“I’m aware of the latest attacks and investigations are underway,” he said.

Nkoadi, however, said he was not at liberty to divulge the number of cases which were under investigation.

“Cases opened for investigation include house robberies, attempted murder and theft.”

This follows after Dianne Kohler from the DA said farmers, farmworkers, their families and visitors were under threat. Kohler was the party’s chairperson of the rural safety work-stream.

“The annual crime statistics released on Friday show that another 49 farmers were slaughtered last year – four every month – while reliable reports tell us that another 26 farmers and farmworkers have been murdered in the first half of this year during some 141 attacks,” she said.

Kohler added that 612 of them had allegedly been murdered in the last 10 years.

“There have been 2,818 attacks on farms – leaving many maimed, crippled or blinded.”

She further lambasted the police service saying that while plan after plan had been devised, farmers, farmworkers, their wives, children and parents were allegedly twice as likely to be murdered than a police officer and four times more likely to be murdered than the average South African citizen.

“It seems to be only in the most isolated of our rural areas where attackers have the time to hone their craft, to boil their oil and heat the iron and to sharpen their machetes,” Kohler said.

Police spokesperson Captain Matthews Nkoadi – Image: Supplied.

Addressing the media during a briefing on Friday, police minister Bheki Cele said the latest crime statistics for 2019/2020 showed that the increase in violent crimes had slowed down.

“We are pleased with the improvements in the most stubborn crime categories,” he said.

The category of murder, specifically, was said to have shown a trend of the number of cases halving in the past three years.

Community reported and property-related crimes were also said to have shown a decrease in the number of cases which were recorded.

Of the property-related crimes, burglary at residential premises and robbery at residential properties had also shown a decrease.

“The significant reduction in the crimes of fear contributes positively towards police and community relations. When families feel safe in their homes, it builds and enhances confidence in the police and justice system,” Cele said.

Earlier this week, the DA in the province launched its provincial rural safety court watching briefs unit.

The unit’s head Adrian Roos said it was a means to assist victims of farm attacks and their families and put their attackers behind bars.

“The situation in our rural areas is now at crisis point, with a sharp rise in terrible attacks and murders in June and July including at least 20 farm attacks in Gauteng.”

He explained the unit was introduced by the community safety department in the Western Cape to monitor police conduct and report inefficiencies.

“The DA’s rural safety watching briefs unit will act as an unofficial go-between the police, the prosecution services and the victims of farm attacks,” Roos said.

He added they would stand by the side of the victims and assist them during police and court processes.

Other functions of the newly established unit included monitoring police conduct; monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of the police; promoting good relations between the police and community; assessing the effectiveness of visible policing and liaising with the shadow cabinet member responsible for policing or prosecutions with regards to crime, policing and prosecutions.

“With this initiative, we seek to ensure that criminals end up behind bars as soon as possible and the violence comes to an end.”

This article first appeared on Rekord East and was republished with permission.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.




today in print

today in print