18 June 2018
Free State Agriculture (FSA) expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of Klaus Meier, of the farm Asgard near Ladybrand, who was murdered. FSA condemns any kind of farm attacks and crimes and strongly opposes what happened to Meier.
Gerhard Kriel, Chief Executive Officer of FSA, called on his organization's members and farmers in the Free State to be involved in organized agriculture.
“Free State Agriculture condemns the senseless violence committed against farmers and asks the agricultural community to be actively involved in the structures of organized agriculture,” he said. “This includes the active application of the Rural Safety Plan and also support networks of surrounding farmers in the area, such as your neighbours.”
Kriel says especially in the light of a previous attack in Ladybrand, in which a farm manager was killed on 19 March 2018 and his wife assaulted, it is important that the support networks of farmers in this area should be in place. He believes that it allows farmers to improve their safety.
FSA calls on its members to support the organization's safety structures, in cooperation with the police, and continuously improve their safety.
Meier was presumably killed on 15 June 2018 near Marseilles, between Ladybrand and Tweespruit. His body was found by his wife on 17 June 2018. According to FSA's information, the motive for the murder is not clear and there was no forced access to the house.
According to Bernard Maree, FSA's Safety Representative in the Mantsopa region, the post-mortem investigation is being conducted on 19 June 2018.
Dr Jane Buys, Security Risk Analyst of FSA, says Ladybrand is a hot spot, as two (Meier and the farm manager) of the three murders in the Free State have taken place here. There were a total of three attacks in Ladybrand in 2018.
FSA is in touch and works closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to improve safety at the border. Everything is being done to prevent incidents such as Meier's.