Durban – The IFP has taken a swipe at government over the latest farm attack in KwaZulu-Natal. According to IFP KZN Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development, Nhlanhla Msimango, government is not doing enough to address farm attacks.
Hedley James Brown (70), of the KZN Midlands, was found murdered on his farm in Lions River, outside Howick, on Monday morning.
The party is calling for farm attacks and farm murders to be treated as a separate crime category, and regarded as a priority crime, as these crimes require a particular solution.
Msimango said the attacks were continuing despite the state having all the necessary resources at its disposal.
Midlands EMS Howick said in a statement that its paramedic crews attended the scene.
"On arrival it was found that one person had sustained fatal injuries and was tied up outside the house. The patient was declared deceased by paramedics on the scene," emergency teams said.
Msimango said government needed to discourage criminal acts by enforcing laws and through ensuring that harsh sentences were meted out to criminals. “Otherwise, we are fighting a losing battle and farm attacks will continue.
"According to the first quarter 2021/22 SAPS crime statistics, attacks – including murder – on farms and small holdings increased by 47 incidents, when compared to the 2020/21 statistics," he said.
He added that in affirmation of the gravity of farm attacks, a committee of inquiry was established in 2001, by the late former minister of safety and security, Steve Tshwete. The purpose of the 2001 Committee was to “inquire into the ongoing spate of attacks on farms, which include violent criminal acts such as murder, robbery, rape, to determine the motives and factors behind these attacks and to make recommendations on their findings”.
Msimango said farmers played an essential role in society, as they provided the population with food. In other words, he said, farmers were the “backbone and heart” of the nation. If farm attacks and farm murders were left to continue unabated, it could impact food security, which, in turn, could lead to more widespread hunger.
"The IFP calls upon government – and especially the police – to work towards ensuring the safety of people in the rural areas, by prioritising the protection of farm owners and employees. Government and the police must use all means at their disposal to prevent the situation from escalating," he said.