FSA demands more targeted police investigations to bring culprits to justice

Free State Agriculture (FSA) demands from the Minister of Police as well as the Free State Commissioner of Police to investigate farm murders and attacks purposefully, so that the culprits can be brought before the court and successful prosecution can take place.

This reaction from FSA follows the verdict of the Brendin Horner murder where the two suspects were acquitted due to insufficient evidence to link them to the murder. Jakkals le Roux, chairman of FSA’s Rural Safety Committee, says the organization requires the police to conduct an active and further investigation into who the perpetrators are in order to bring the culprits to justice.

According to le Roux, murders and serious crime on the general public are increasing, putting pressure on the criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, Dr Jane Buys, Safety Risk Analyst at FSA, confirmed that in the period 1 July to 30 September 2021, the Free State had already had 13 farm attacks and 3 farm murders that claimed the lives of 7 victims. The farm murders took place at Harrismith and Heilbron. In one case in Harrismith, an emerging farmer as well as his three children was killed. However, it would appear that there have been no arrests on any of the farm murders yet.

Dr Buys further mentions that during the reporting period there were five attacks on producers, four on farm workers, one on a livestock speculator and two on smallholding residents. The geographical areas in the Free State that are most affected by farm attacks and murders are Ficksburg (2 farm attacks), Bloemspruit (3 farm attacks), Harrismith (5 farm attacks), Steynsrus, Clocolan and Mafube with 1 each. In the Mafube farm attack, the attacker was fatally wounded. The high crime areas rel. farm attacks and killings are thus Harrismith with 7; Bloemspruit with 3, followed by Ficksburg with 2.

“When the same period is compared with that of 2019-2020, there is a decrease in farm attacks in the Free State. In the previous financial year there were 19 farm attacks, while this year there were 13, a decrease of 46.15%. ” says Buys. However, she points out that with regard to farm murders, there is an increase of one murder. “In the previous financial year, there were two murders where a producer and an emerging farmer were killed, compared to this financial year where three farm murders have already taken place.”

Free State Agriculture requires the police to be serious about rolling out the revised Rural Safety Strategy. Where shortcomings, defects and challenges with regard to manpower, equipment and vehicles have already been identified, it is required that the necessary interventions be launched so that high visibility, preventive actions and operations take place in order to provide rural areas with better policing services. FSA believes this is especially important in the run-up to the festive season which brings out greater crime in rural areas.

VL eis meer doelgerigte polisie ondersoeke om skuldiges aan die pen te laat ry

Vrystaat Landbou (VL) eis van die Minister van Polisie sowel as die Vrystaatse polisiekommissaris om plaasmoorde en – aanvalle doelgerig te ondersoek, sodat die skuldiges voor die hof gebring kan word en suksesvolle vervolging kan plaasvind.

Dié reaksie van VL volg op die uitspraak van die Brendin Horner-moord waar die twee verdagtes vrygespreek is weens onvoldoende getuienis om hulle met die moord te verbind. Jakkals le Roux, voorsitter van VL se Landelike Veiligheidskomitee, sê die organisasie vereis dat die polisie daadwerklike en verdere ondersoek instel oor wie die oortreders is ten einde die skuldiges aan die pen te laat ry.

Volgens le Roux neem moorde en ernstige misdaad op die algemene publiek toenemend toe, wat druk op die strafregstelsel plaas.

Intussen het dr Jane Buys, Veiligheidsrisiko-analis van VL, bevestig dat die Vrystaat in die tydperk 1 Julie tot 30 September 2021 reeds 13 plaasaanvalle en 3 plaasmoorde gehad het wat die lewens van 7 slagoffers geëis het. Die plaasmoorde het plaasgevind te Harrismith en Heilbron. In een geval in Harrismith is ʼn opkomende boer asook sy drie kinders vermoor. Dit wil egter voorkom asof daar nog geen arrestasies op enige van die plaasmoorde was nie.

Dr Buys noem verder dat daar in die verslagtydperk vyf aanvalle op produsente was, vier op plaaswerkers, een op ʼn veespekulant en twee op kleinhoewe bewoners. Die geografiese areas in die Vrystaat wat die meeste deur plaasaanvalle en -moorde geraak word is Ficksburg (2 plaasaanvalle), Bloemspruit (3 plaasaanvalle), Harrismith (5 plaasaanvalle), Steynsrus, Clocolan en Mafube met 1 elk. In die Mafube plaasaanval was die aanvaller noodlottig gewond. Die hoë misdaad areas t.o.v. plaasaanvalle en -moorde is dus Harrismith met 7; Bloemspruit met 3, gevolg deur Ficksburg met 2.

“Wanneer dieselfde tydperk met dié van 2019-2020 vergelyk word, is daar ʼn daling in plaasaanvalle in die Vrystaat te bespeur. In die vorige finansiële jaar was daar 19 plaasaanvalle, terwyl daar vanjaar 13 was, dus ’n daling van 46.15%.” sê Buys.  Sy wys egter daarop dat wat plaasmoorde betref, daar ʼn styging van een moord is. “In die vorige finansiële jaar was dit twee moorde waar ʼn produsent en ʼn opkomende boer vermoor is, teenoor dié finansiële jaar waar daar reeds drie plaasmoorde plaasgevind het.”

Vrystaat  Landbou vereis van die polisie om erns te maak met die uitrol van die hersiene Landelike Beveiliging Strategie (LBS). Waar tekorte, gebreke en uitdagings t.o.v. mannekrag, toerusting en voertuie reeds uitgewys is, word vereis dat die nodige intervensies van stapel gestuur word sodat hoë sigbaarheid, voorkomende aksies en operasies plaasvind ten einde landelike gebiede van beter polisiëringdienste te kan voorsien. VL meen dit is veral belangrik in die aanloop tot die feesseisoen wat groter misdaad in landelike gebiede na vore bring.