Kobus Breytenbach of State Agriculture’s law and order committee says it is clear the SA Police Department (SAPD) in the Free State is not motivated to solve and prevent violent crimes. This follows the police’s unwillingness to attend a meeting with organised agriculture. Ironically, the meeting was requested by the provincial commissioner after the latest farm attack in the Trompsburg district saw a farmworker killed and a farmer seriously wounded.
“Only one (acting) member of the SAPD in Trompsburg arrived for the meeting. We were informed via sms that members of SAPD management were going to be late, but they never turned up. The meeting was supposed to begin at 10am and we waited until 1pm, to no avail,” says Breytenbach. “We take this matter very seriously and see it as an indication of the SAPD’s unwillingness to take violent crimes seriously. We will apply for an urgent independent inquiry into the Trompsburg police station. We also deem it of utmost importance that the station commissioner be suspended as soon as possible.” The provincial spokesperson for the SAPD, Superintendent Sam Makgele, says a meeting with organised agriculture will be rescheduled soon. He says Free State was informed that the SAPD had had a crisis on the day of the meeting and could not attend. The entire Trompsburg community marched to the local police station to show their unity in the fight against crime. petition was handed to local police demanding better policing and the refusal of bail, among other things. – Annelie Coleman