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AfriForum demands that farm murders become a priority for government

Yet another cruel attack on a father and son on a farm in the Free State confirms that farm murders should be a higher priority for government.  AfriForum strongly condemns the latest farm attack on Pieter Hills (56) and his son Eddie (26).

Hills and his son were cruelly attacked on 5 November on their farm outside Hennenman. Hills was tied up and shot in the head, and he succumbed to his wounds. Eddie sustained serious injuries to his neck vertebrae and trachea, and according to media reports was declared braindead on Monday evening.

Ernst Roets, head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, says that farm murders still do not receive the necessary attention, despite the President and Police Minister trying to reassure the country in this regard. “The truth is that government has no counter-strategy to curb farm murders,” Roets says.

According to Roets, the rural security plan is not being executed. Moreover, the security plan  does not contain a focused strategy against farm murders. “If government was serious about farm murders, it would have compiled and executed a holistic plan that not only remarks on the way in which suspects should be arrested, but also focuses on preventing these murders from happening in the first place.”

“This plan should include more regular research on farm murders, as well as a holistic approach to the crisis and a strategy to combat it rather than simply entrusting it to local police stations; it requires active cooperation between the police and civil society and that politicians who romanticizes violence against farmer be brought to book. It should also involve specialist units,” Roets says.

AfriForum earlier set out a list of practical steps to be taken in this regard in a letter to the President and the Police Minister. Apart from reassuring letters and speeches, it seems that neither the President nor the Minister has the impetus to take the necessary step to prioritise farm murders.

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