South Africa will edge further to a food insecurity crisis if government continues to allow farmers to be killed, ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe said yesterday in a media statement condemning the murder of Glen and Vida Rafferty, a KwaZulu-Natal couple who were shot dead on their farm in Normadien, along with their dog over the weekend.
He said: “We call on President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with the ministers of Police, Justice, and Agriculture, to stop ignoring the obvious, and declare farm murders as priority crimes, and implement measures to provide optimum protection on farms in order to protect South African lives, and to ensure that justice is served.
“In addition, the ACDP has, for the longest time, called for the restoration of farmer commando units to increase the safety of those living and working on our farms. Farmers and their workers’ lives must be protected regardless of their race. We believe that the restoration of farmer commando units can bring down the number of farm attacks, and could be a vital part of the solution to putting an end to farm attacks in South Africa.
“The protection of those that provide us with food is paramount. South Africa is not in a position where we can easily afford to import foodstuffs at high costs, due to our weakened economy.
“If we are to curb farm murders and protect our people, President Ramaphosa must break his silence on the issue, lead, and act decisively against those who attack and kill our farmers, and threaten our food security.”
Meeting to look at farmer protection
Also condemning the killing of the couple, Deputy President David Mabuza said a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture, which he is convening on Friday will, among other business, focus on specific programmes aimed at curbing violent attacks on farmers.
“The lives of farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers, as well as every citizen of the country, black and white, matter. It is for this reason that government will continue to work with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure prevention as a priority in dealing with farm murders,” he said in a statement released yesterday.
He said that law enforcement must conduct a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to book to ensure that justice is served for the victims.