MEC calls for collective effort to fight farm murders

There was need for a collective effort to eradicate farm murders and acts of criminality in rural areas and farms in the country, said Mlibo Qoboshiyane MEC for Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform following the murders of Hermien Gouws (88) and her son Ruben (65), recently.

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Their battered and bloodied bodies were discovered at Pinevale Farm on the R56 between Indwe and Elliot at around 5pm on Saturday, August 15, according to the Daily Dispatch. Three men aged 22, 23 and 24 have already been arrested.

Qoboshiyane called on the farming community, the police, churches, business and political organisations and traditional leaders to fight the scourge of farm murders. “The country has lost far too many people as a result of these farm attacks. We cannot afford to bury farmers and their family members who die as a result of criminal attacks,” he said in a statement.

Recent reports published by Farmer’s Weekly showed that 1 747 farm murders and 3 542 attacks took place between 1990 and the middle of 2015.

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On August 20, the SA Human Rights Commission released a report recommending the police focus on developing additional policies to ensure rural safety strategies were implemented.

Qoboshiyane said all provincial stakeholders would meet soon to discuss the implementation of the recommendations “in order for us to stop farm attacks and any form of criminality by securing rural villages and farms in this province”.