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Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture demanded in a memorandum presented to senior FS Government officials, MEC for Police, Roads and Transport, Mr. M.S. Mashinini and MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. K.W. Bulwane, that quick and decisive action should be taken by Government to stop the scourge of farm attacks on farmers and farm workers.
Free State Agriculture condemned violent crime in general, including violence against women and children, but in particular violence against farmers and farm workers. In a memorandum the farming community demanded the following:
1. Thorough investigations into the allegations of corrupt police officials and those implicated in livestock theft syndicates as indicated in a report with implicated evidence already handed over by our Bethlehem Safety and Security coordinator to the Hawks. FSA is convinced of a direct correlation between livestock theft and farm attacks.
2. We demand that groups and political party representatives that are particularly targeting farmers as land thieves and exploiters have decisive action be taken against them, as this incites violence and perpetuates racial hatred. This has to stop!
According to Wilken all protest action must be conducted within the ambit of the law.
“There is concern from the community of Senekal that irresponsible action by external parties that have sought to exploit the situation for ideological and political gain can cause irreparable damage”said Wilken. The safety and wellbeing of the Senekal community needs to be prioritized. Members of the public together with FSA members considering attending need to take into account the impact
that the possible negative consequences of their intended actions may have on farming and wider community of Senekal.
Free State Agriculture confirms our commitment to stability and peaceful coexistence between all communities black and white, said Wilken.
The agricultural community is committed to work with the authorities, but will continue on our own where we have to.
Media enquiries can be directed to Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture at 083 390 1831 or Tommie Esterhuyse at 082 782 0668.