The Democratic Alliance condemns the latest farm attacks in the Eastern Cape. At 01:30 this morning (subs: Wednesday 29 Aug) a Brakfontein farmer was shot and wounded three times during a robbery on his farm outside East London. Five fire arms were allegedly stolen. Two days ago (subs: Monday afternoon, 27 August) an elderly woman was allegedly tied up and robbed of a fire arm on her farm in the same area. Last week I attended the funeral of Jansenville farmer Owen Charles following his brutal murder when he and his wife Janet were attacked on their farm. In July, ‘Boy’ Jordaan was shot in cold blood in a mielie field on his farm between Barkley East and Maclear. David Dlali, a former ANC MP, was killed on his farm in Matatiele on 10 June.

Today I met with farmers from the Stutterheim area to discuss their concerns regarding stock theft.

The DA is deeply concerned about the alarming spike in incidents of violence against farmers this year.

The DA has made repeated calls for rural safety units to be established, yet Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has done nothing to fill the security void left when the commando system was finally disbanded in 2009. It is time that the governing party starts taking the safety of all the citizens of this country seriously.

The DA is committed to an effective criminal justice system and safety and security for all communities. When safety is compromised in rural communities, it has a huge impact on food security, jobs and the viability of rural towns.

We believe that it is imperative that a specialised rural safety division of the SAPS be established.