September 16, 2015

Agri EC responds to Human Rights Commission report on farm attacks in South Africa

Organised agriculture’s national Rural Safety Strategy has come under the spotlight after the Human Rights Commission (HRC) indicated that a decisive effort is needed to curb increasing incidents of farm attacks.
Agri SA has requested a meeting with the Minister of Police to discuss the HRC’s findings and how these, along with the Rural Safety Strategy, will be implemented in the fight against farm attacks.
“It must be clearly understood that land owners and their employees have a constitutional right to safety and security.
“This was again endorsed by the HRC. They found that these rights have undoubtedly been violated,” said Agri EC president Doug Stern.
The commission found that the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority need to improve their involvement in combating crimes against farming communities.
Stern added that emphasis must be placed on community participation to raise awareness of farm attacks and to improve rural safety.
He said police resources were often spread thinly and placing the burden of rural safety squarely on the shoulders of a handful of officers would benefit no one.
“Where communities are alert there is significant social cohesion and the likelihood of assaults on farm owners and their employees is reduced.
“As things are now, vulnerable communities do not have access to the police when needed, hereby demonstrating the importance of getting involved as soon as possible.”
The HRC’s report identified a need to establish a partnership between the police and the Department of Traditional Affairs to involve and empower traditional leaders in the implementation of government policies revolving around safety and security.
The leaders’ understanding and insight into cultural behaviour in their regions can only be to the benefit of their communities.
“We welcome the recommendations made in the report, especially the recommendation that a special sub-committee be established to develop an action plan to address the issues raised and to engage with the community,” said Stern.
He said Agri EC also welcomed the HRC’s announcement that it will give a progress report in a year’s time on the implementation of all the recommendations.

SA Farm Attacks & Murders September 2015

Total of 19 FARM ATTACKS , 

have already been reported this month 
(16 September 2015)