KwaZulu-Natal farm killing: Police Minister Cele to visit area

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele is set to visit Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, 2 September 2020, in the wake of the murder of a couple on their farm.


Glen and Vida Rafferty were shot dead on their Normadien farm on Saturday, 29 August 2020.


The suspects are said to have ransacked the couple's home, without taking any valuables, except for a vehicle, which was later recovered.


Police in the province are yet to make arrests in the matter.


The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Afriforum have long criticised government for its handling of farm killings and have called for more stringent measures to counter them.


On Tuesday, 1 September 2020, Parliament held a debate on the scourge, as requested by the DA.


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

Skwatsha: 'Some farm killings due to conflict'


"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", Skwatsha said.


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


While government has long denied that the killings are a result of brewing racial tensions in the country, the minister said some of the 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.

Didiza: 'There's a rural safety strategy'


Meanwhile Minister Thoko Didiza has reiterated that farm killings remain a serious concern for the government. Speaking to ENCA, Didiza said they had a rural safety strategy in place to help them assess the extent of the matter.


"We do have a rural safety strategy but what we have to examine is what more do we need to do to make sure that the implementation of that strategy actually gives us the safety and security that we need on our farms and in our rural areas", she said.


The minister further praised law enforcement officials in managing to nab suspects implicated in the crimes.


"In a number of instances, what we have seen is swift action by the police to actually arrest the perpetrators of such heinous crimes and that is actually assuring but what we would want is avoiding having people killing, assaulted and attacked", Didiza added.

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