South Africa: Free State Farm Murder - DA Reiterates Call for Specialised Rural Safety Units

press release

Today I will write to the Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Major-General Tholi Afonso, reiterating the DA's repeated call to establish specialised rural safety units within the South African Police Service (SAPS).

This comes after another senseless killing of a farmer over the weekend.

The DA is deeply saddened by the senseless murder of Mr Dirk Steenkamp, a prominent farmer in the Vredefort-district in the Northern Free State on his farm yesterday morning.

Mr Steenkamp played an active role in the Vredefort community, always ready to assist wherever he could. The DA extends our heartfelt condolences to the Steenkamp family, our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

The DA further calls on the SAPS to make all resources at their disposal available to track down and arrest the perpetrators of this horrific attack.

Free State rural communities - farmers as well as farm workers - are increasingly at risk as the SAPS have limited personnel and resources to prevent violent crime in secluded rural areas.

The DA has repeatedly called on government to establish specialised rural safety units within the SAPS to improve safety and security in rural areas.

We further call on all leaders of society to condemn attacks such as these and refrain from using inflammatory language that may incite violence, especially during the debates surrounding land and land reform.

What is needed is sober leadership to deal with the issues around rural safety as well as land and not populist rhetoric that could fuel conflict and violence.

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