38 guns stolen in 2 years of farm hits: Daily Dispatch

IN THE past two years 38 guns were stolen in farm attacks in the Eastern Cape.

Police have recovered nine of them.

MEC for safety and liaison Weziwe Tikana told the Bhisho legislature, in a response to written questions by DA legislature leader Bobby Stevenson, that 21 guns were stolen in farm attacks in 2017 and 17 in 2016.

Tikana said it was not clear whether the stolen firearms had been used elsewhere to commit other crimes.

The MEC said the intention of the farm attack perpetrators was not necessarily to steal only guns as TV sets, jewellery and cash were also among the things stolen.

“The purpose of stealing the weapons is to further enrich themselves through committing other crimes,” said Tikana.

She said her department, through the SAPS, had put in place measures contained in the rural safety strategy to improve policing in farming communities and to achieve swift responses to attacks.

“Farm visits are conducted and during these visits farmers are sensitised on their safety.”

Stevenson said much more needed to be done to combat attacks against farmers and communities.

● Tikana also revealed that the Eastern Cape’s two metros had recorded the highest number of arrests for damage to public property and infrastructure during violent service delivery protests in the province this year.

Thirty protesters were arrested in NMB and 17 in BCM.

Stevenson called for perpetrators to be made to face the music.

“Protesters who run riot and burn property – including municipal roads, equipment and buildings – to vent their anger must face the consequences of their criminal acts.” — zingisam@dispatch.co.za