The DA is calling on Cyril Ramaphosa to “tell South Africa what his government will be doing to address the issue of farm murders”. The party launched a campaign to raise this matter in Parliament last week, but they have been apparently stonewalled by officials at the National Assembly.
Ramaphosa urged to address rural crime spike
MP Dianne Kohler Barnard has taken up the mantle with this, and on Tuesday, she directed her anger towards the president. In a fiercely-worded statement, the rural safety activist challenged Ramaphosa to make an urgent statement on how lawmakers could help limit farm murders in the country. So far, Cyril has stayed silent – much to the chagrin of Kohler Barnard and her colleagues.
“There has not been a peep from the side of government indicating that it is paying any attention to farm murders. But this is not out of character for a government that likes to praise farmers when they need them but is never forthcoming with assistance of any kind to the farming community when it is in crisis.”
“It is as if farmers and farmworkers have been declared persona non grata. They are needed to ensure food security but are then left to try and solve any and all problems they might encounter on their own.”
“Violent crime is rampant, but few crimes seem to illicit such a poor response from government than farm murders. The victims of these attacks are often tortured in the most brutal ways, and most are considered lucky if they escape with their lives. Yet the government remains quiet.”
Dianne Kohler Barnard
Farm murders – latest statistics
Since South Africa entered lockdown, farm murders have continued at an alarming pace. Data shared earlier this afternoon highlights why the issue of rural security has become such a pressing concern:
- Farming group TLA SA estimates that there have been 59 farm attacks since 1 April 2020.
- A further 12 murders since that date have also been recorded.
- That works out to be 4.67 attacks and almost least one murder each week during lockdown.
- The African Centre for Food Security has also stated that ‘increased hunger and poverty’ has contributed to a spike in rural crimes.