Partnerships crucial to curb farm murders, says Agriculture Deputy Minister

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister, Mcebisi Skwatsha, has condemned the spate of farm attacks, describing them as cruel and barbaric.

Skwatsha said this when he participated in a debate on farm murders in a hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We must all stand in solidarity with the affected families and vow in unison to prevent and combat farm murders. We must do everything we can to make sure the culprits are caught, prosecuted and sent to jail.

“I want to join my colleagues to say all lives matter, whether that is the lives of farmworkers or the lives of farm owners.

“As government, we must state categorically what is inscribed in the preamble of our Constitution. South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

The Deputy Minister said all reasonable and peace-loving South Africans must condemn in the strongest terms “what is clearly behaviour that is cruel, anti-social, barbaric and harmful to our endeavours to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, prosperous South Africa”.

His remarks come after Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Thoko Didiza, on Monday commended the swift arrest of suspects allegedly behind the triple murder on a farm in Magogong, outside Hartswater in the Northern Cape.

Addressing the House on Tuesday, Skwatsha condemned attacks on farm owners. This includes Mimi Jacobs from the Free State, who this year survived a brutal attack on her farm.

“On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Police, on behalf of the entire government, we wish to convey these heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.

“We bow our heads in honour of all those killed in farm attacks… to mention but a few, Mr and Mrs Rafferty of KwaZulu-Natal, who were gunned down on 29 August 2020; the Brandt family in the Northern Cape, who lost three members of their family and thankfully, the culprits have been apprehended and in this instance… the justice system is doing its job.”

Skwatsha said the levels of moral degeneration and deviant behaviour in South African society are a cause for concern. He acknowledged that some farm murders are attributed to conflict between the owner and the farm workers.

“That is why we pioneered the extension of security of tenure, which we are busy shaping up to fit the necessary conditions… We must all stand in solidarity with the affected families and vow in unison to prevent and combat farm murders. We must do everything we can to make sure the culprits are caught, prosecuted and sent to jail,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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