TLU SA to raise awareness of farm attacks

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GK CRONJE

4 August 2020

“This year we already faced 35 murders in 180 farm attacks. These are not statistics. They are people. South Africans often do not realize the scale of the impact of attacks on agriculture as a whole and ultimately, on food production.” Therefore, on 14 August 2020, TLU SA will virtually walk around South Africa in 24 hours in protest against the 5 530 farm attacks since 1990.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

TLU SA is anxious about the increase in farm attacks, which this weekend lead to five murders. It earnestly urges farmers, their families and workers to be alert at all times. “The nine attacks of this weekend confirmed our observation that the marked decrease in violent crimes on farms during the first week of the lockdown, was shortlived. The first six months of 2020 mirror the same period in 2019,” says Mr. Henry Geldenhuys, the chairman of TLU SA’s Safety Committee, and deputy president of TLU SA. Apart from the increase in crime, the lockdown also leads to further complications when police stations have to close temporarily after exposure to COVID-19. The public often does not have any alternative numbers for SAPS members at these stations, and they are left to their own devices during attacks. “It’s been some time since TLU SA realized they could not depend on the government to safeguard them,” says Mr. Geldenhuys. “People who live on farms increasingly have to make use of their own abilities and capacity to ensure their safety. The solution lies in personal alertness and readiness.” From the feedback after failed attacks, it is clear that victims who were highly alert and ready, with a weapon on hand, and could effectively prevent an attack. The reaction of a well-organized Farm Watch, made up of members who knows the environment and residents, is invaluable when the reaction time and effective action of the police are limited. Safety starts with the individual farmer, then the family and workers and then branches out to neighbours, Farm Watch and the police. It is crucial to be prepared by keeping a weapon for self-defense within reach, to have your contingency plan in place, and ensuring the ability to communicate from the farm, is established. TLU SA urgently requests farmers to join local safety structures and always to be alert. The farmers of South Africa are of vital importance. They have the particular knowledge and expertise to farm in a marginal agriculture country to produce food for our tables. They are viewed as some of the best farmers in the world. South African farmers continue making plans; through drought, through lockdown, through attacks. “Unfortunately, the attacks on South Africa’s farmers, their families and workers are increasing and becoming more and more brutal,” says Mr. Henry Geldenhuys.

“This year we already faced 35 murders in 180 farm attacks. These are not statistics. They are people. South Africans often do not realize the scale of the impact of attacks on agriculture as a whole and ultimately, on food production.” Therefore, on 14 August 2020, TLU SA will virtually walk around South Africa in 24 hours in protest against the 5 530 farm attacks since 1990. During the same time, 2 083 persons were ripped from the lives of their families, friends and communities. With the virtual protest walk of 5 530km, TLU SA hopes to focus enough attention on these crimes to force the government to do more than speak empty words. Farm attacks, as a priority crime, must receive the same attention and focus other serious crimes do. “We realize that no campaign or protest march on its own can bring an end to crime, but it is important to create awareness of the problem, here and abroad. We know it lies in the hands of communities to combat crime as there is a lack of political will from the government to control the situation.

We want all South Africans who are fed up with crime, to take part in this protest march.” concluded Mr. Geldenhuys. If you require more information, or have any enquiries, you may contact Mr. Geldenhuys on 083 560 1273.

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