Deputy President David Mabuza says that he was shocked when he learned of the brutal murder of farmers, Glen and Vida Rafferty, who were murdered on their farm in Normadien in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
He had previously condemned the violent attacks on farmers and people in rural farming communities, stressing the importance of the agricultural sector to the economy of South Africa.
Mabuza said that we must value farmers and farmworkers, while always in pursuit of a better country, wherein everyone lives in dignity and at peace with one another.
In a document released by Afriforum, recording the number of farm-related incidents, 552 farm attacks took place in 2019, 54 of which were fatal: that’s four more than the previous year.
The document also details that 55 years is the average age of victims. Most victims (42%) were between 60 and 79 years old, with 28% of victims being between 40 and 59 years.
Of the total amount of attacks that took place, 66 % of victims were property owners or their family members, 66% were farm workers or their family members, and 26% of the victims were guests on the property.
“This is what defines who we are as a nation and should be the guiding light within our communities. Even in difficult times, our prevailing challenges must not lead us to despair and to engage in all that is against our humanity as people. We must remain resolute in building a better South Africa that values human life,” the Deputy President said.
Mabuza, as Chairperson, will meet with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the matter of Land Reform and Agriculture on Friday, 4 September 2020.
The meeting will focus on – among other things –the specific programmes created to stop the ongoing violent attacks on SA’s farmers which has a negative impact on the country’s food production and security.
“The lives of farmers, farmworkers and farm dwellers as well as every citizen of the country, black and white, matters, it is for this reason that government will continue to work with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure prevention as a priority in dealing with farm murders,” said Deputy President Mabuza.
He also called on the police service to thoroughly investigate such incidents and bring the perpetrators of these dreadful crimes to justice and ensure that justice is served for the victims.