Tension, fear and paranoia is boiling within the farming community in Mpumalanga after a second farm murder was reported in the province within a week.
On Friday morning, the province woke up to disturbing news that Ettiene du Toit was murdered on Thursday evening in his Alkmaar farm outside Mbombela. On Tuesday this week, 72-year-old farmer, Jessie Henry Coleman, was brutally murdered at his farm between Delmas and Bronkhorstspruit.
The DA would like to send its heartfelt condolences to both the du Toit and Coleman families – and we would also like to reiterate our call for rural safety units to be reinstated as a matter of urgency, not just in Mpumalanga, but across the country. These continuous attack on farmers threatens our food security.
Crime is spiraling out of control in this country and criminals are aware that the response rate to crimes in isolated farms is zero at night because the South African Police Service (SAPS) is severely under-staffed. Without more boots on the ground, we will not win the war against crimes like farm murders.
Our rural communities are under enormous threat, vulnerable to the most heinous forms of attack, leaving many maimed, raped, crippled or blinded. Due to the isolation of rural communities, attackers have the time to hone their craft, leaving victims in pools of blood.
We also propose that rural community policing units must be established for every police station that serves at least one rural sector.
The DA will continue the fight to ensure that all South Africans are afforded equal protection and safety by government and SAPS as determined in our Constitution.