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FFPlus: Statement by Pieter Groenewald, Freedom Front Plus spokesperson, on farm murders (08/03/2010)

8th March 2010

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"The Minister of Police, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa's remark at a conference of AgriSA, that the Police views farm murders merely as crime, confirms that the government is contemptuous with regards to farm murders. The Police are quick to view certain crimes, such as cash-in-transit robberies and the bombing of ATM machines, as priority crimes and then plan strong counter actions. Why are these crimes then also not just viewed merely as ordinary crime? The Minister and the government are shying away from farm murders, precisely because there is a strong element of racism involved," Mr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), chief spokesperson on the Police for the Freedom Front Plus says.

"The cruelty with which especially farm murders are perpetrated is shocking. Farmers have their throats slit, tortured with boiling water, etc. Farmers in South Africa is the group amongst which the most murders take place, on average 313 in every 100 000 and then only thereafter law-enforcers, such as members of the Police, where the figure is 153 in every 100 000. The committee which investigated farm murders in 2003, found at the time already, that the chances of a victim of a farm attack being injured, is twice as more likely than the case would be in cash-in-transit robbery. The chance that a victim of a farm attack would die is three times as more likely than in the case of a cash-in-transit-heist. If the Police view cash-in-transit robberies as a priority, so much more should they view farm murders as a priority," Groenewald said.

"The commando system was scrapped with the promise that there would be no vacuum in rural security. Sector policing was introduced, but is a failure. The Police suddenly from 2007 no longer keep separate records of farm murders and farm attacks. A report by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation into the reasons for the cruelty of violent crimes was completed last August but Mthethwa is not releasing the report. It is clear that the government has failed the farmers of South Africa," says Groenewald.

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