The pain soaked tears of the families of farmers who have had to bare not only one of the most devastating realities of life, being death. But in the same breath, have had to try process the venomous and malice evil being injected into the lives of the people they hold so dear to their hearts.
Then you have the rest of the world, who looks upon South Africa in total dismay, as they, for the most part, cannot warp their minds to the distorted place whereby such evil lives, in order to understand these crimes. Yet, farm attacks are not a priority crime for the South African Police, this follows a statement by Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Whereby Cele clarifies the reasoning behind the stance taken is due to farm attacks being incidents generally classified under aggravated robbery on a farm or dwelling.
But many argue it appears a few elements are being overlooked which places these attacks in a category of their own. As these, for the most part, are not just aggravated robberies, they are sinister, planned attacks which are pulled off by equipped people, working off of a plan, motivated by an agenda. When considering the nauseating level of hatred shown to farmers, even in certain political settings, it becomes difficult to see these attacks as just aggravated robberies.
As the voice for the farming community, AfriForum has since reacted to Cele’s statement, with the civil rights organisation describing the Minister’s statement as irrational and discriminatory.
In response to the police minister’s statement, AfriForum has launched an online campaign for the prioritisation of farm murders. Not a large ask considering the agriculture sector is a financial pillar within the South African economy coupled with the fact, crime of this magnitude should be taken more seriously by Gov. Thus, every time someone clicks on the petition’s “Send” button an email is sent directly to The Police Ministers Office.
Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum says, the Minister’s explicit statement confirms what has for many years been the reality in South Africa.
“The claim that this crime phenomenon cannot be prioritised simply because it is a manifestation of other crimes is irrational because all priority crimes are manifestations of other crimes. Rhino poaching is a manifestation of poaching; transit robberies are manifestations of vehicle hijacking and other crimes; copper cable theft is a manifestation of theft; gang violence is a manifestation of murder, assault and other crimes; violence against women is a manifestation of a number of crimes. The list goes on.
Roets adds, “Cele’s statement is nothing but discrimination against farmers, because it seemingly does not fit the ruling party’s political project to concern itself with the safety of food producers.” Concluding in saying, ” farm murders are unique phenomena which pose unique consequences for society as a whole. This is reason enough to prioritise it.”
What are your thoughts on the topic? Share your views with us in the comment section below.
AfriForum also encourages the public to support the petition at www.stopthemurders.co.za
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer