Free State Agriculture condemns murder of Harrismith farmer and family

Francois Wilken, president of Free State Agriculture (FSA), says the organization strongly condemns the murders that took place on Saturday, 7 August 2021 on the farm ‘Toekoms’ in the Harrismith area. Mgwenika Twala, an emerging farmer, as well as his wife, Selina Maloka, and three children aged 6, 16 and 19 were brutally murdered. They were stabbed several times with a sharp object. The family is one of several living on a farm allocated to beneficiaries by the government in a land claim. The motive for the killings is unknown.

“A safe and sustainable agricultural sector is crucial for food security and such brutal killings where women and children also fall victim to serious violent crimes are strongly condemned and must be fought with the utmost seriousness by the criminal justice system.” says Wilken.

Tommie Esterhuyse, vice-president of Free State Agriculture, thanked the police for their prompt action in that two people had already been arrested for the murders. “The agricultural sector cannot allow such barbaric action against any producer, whether commercial, emerging or subsistence farmers, their families and residents on farms.” says Esterhuyse.

Jakkals le Roux, chairman of FSA’s Rural Safety Committee, urges all producers, including emerging farmers, subsistence farmers as well as settlements where people live, to organize themselves and form part of the Rural Safety Strategy and where possible engage with structures such as Community Policing Forums. It is important that such communities also become involved in effectively addressing the crime wave targeting rural communities together with the police.

Vrystaat Landbou veroordeel moord van Harrismith boer en gesin

Francois Wilken, president van Vrystaat Landbou (VL), sê die organisasie veroordeel ten sterkste die moorde wat op Saterdag, 7 Augustus 2021 op die plaas ‘Toekoms’ in die Harrismith area plaasgevind het. Mgwenika Twala, ’n opkomende boer, asook sy vrou, Selina Maloka, en drie kinders van onderskeidelik 6, 16, en 19 is brutaal vermoor. Hulle is verskeie kere met ʼn skerp voorwerp gesteek. Die gesin is een van verskeie wat op ʼn plaas woon wat deur die regering in ʼn grondeis aan begunstigdes toegeken is. Die motief vir die moorde is onbekend.

“Die voortbestaan van ʼn veilige en volhoubare landbousektor is van kardinale belang vir voedselsekerheid en sulke brutale moorde waar vrouens en kinders ook slagoffers van ernstige geweldsmisdade word, word ten strengste veroordeel en moet met die grootste erns deur die kriminele regstelsel beveg word.” sê Wilken.

Tommie Esterhuyse, vise-president van Vrystaat Landbou, het die polisie bedank vir hul vinnige optrede deurdat twee persone alreeds vir die moorde gearresteer is.  “Die landbousektor kan nie sulke barbaarse optrede teen enige produsent, hetsy dit kommersiële, opkomende of bestaansboere is, hul gesinne en bewoners op plase toelaat nie.” sê Esterhuyse.

Jakkals le Roux, voorsitter van VL se Landelike Veiligheidskomitee, versoek alle produsente, insluitend opkomende boere, bestaansboere asook nedersettings waar mense woonagtig is, om hulself te organiseer en deel te vorm van die Landelike Beveiliging Strategie (LBS) en waar moontlik by strukture soos Gemeenskap Polisiëring Forums in te skakel. Dit is belangrik dat sulke gemeenskappe ook betrokke raak om die misdaadgolf wat landelike gemeenskappe teiken, effektief saam met die polisie aan te spreek.