Faizel Patel – 04/09/2020
Deputy Agriculture Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha says South Africa is facing a huge challenge in tackling farm murders, a challenge the country cannot run away from as concerns swirl on the impact of food security.
From 120,000 commercial farmers, South Africa is now down to just 38,000.
Skwatsha condemned a spate of brutal farm attacks over the past couple of weeks.
In one of the attacks, an elderly couple and their 50-year old daughter were brutally killed on a farm outside Hartswater in the Northern Cape.
On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the farming community of Normandien near Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal after the double murder of Glen Rafferty and his wife Vida.
The couple including their dog were shot dead on the front porch of their farmhouse.
Skwatsha says South Africans must speak with one voice against farm murders.
“The department and the ministry will strongly support the strategy launched by the minister of police, the ‘Rural Safety Strategy’ which looks into combatting the issues of farm attacks, arresting and sentencing the culprits.”
While there are concerns that the increase of farm murders may threaten South Africa’s food security, Skwatsha says there is a possibility the attacks are racially motivated.
“Agriculture is the lifeblood of any nation. You destroy agriculture you destroy a nation. In whatever we do, we must still continue to act as responsible South Africans. We must always remember, our actions must not assist in further polarizing and issue that might be sensitive.
On Tuesday, African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament Zwelivelile Mandela told Parliament farm attacks and murders require special attention because they threaten the economy and food security
Listen to the interview with Mcebisi Skwatsha