Statement by Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele MP and Minister of State Security, Ms. Ayanda Dlodlo MP on the visit to Senekal, Free State
Today the JCPS Ministers visited the community of Senekal to meet with the farming communities following the events that took place on 6 October 2020. The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster is mandated to ensure that all people in South Africa are and feel safe in their homes, places of work and businesses whilst they carry on with their lives. Law enforcement authorities are currently in the area to restore calm and order in the Free State community. Government reaffirms its position that the safety and security of all people in South Africa remains its key priority.
Visit to Brendon Horner's Home
Ministers in the JCPS Cluster visited the Horner family home to offer their condolences and assure them that government is doing everything in its power to ensure that there is justice for Mr. Brendon Horner. The Ministers were well received by the family and owner of the farm, Mr. Scheepers.
Family Spokesperson, Mr. Gilly Scheepers said "We really appreciate the visit and we really hope it will bring a turning point in the tension in this area. It is unfortunate but maybe the loss of a young man's life will bring peace and stability in the farming community in South Africa".
Government would like to take this opportunity to extend its condolences to families, friends, colleagues and neighbors of all farmers and workers who have been attacked or killed. Ministers have commended the communities and the police for their swift response in arresting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of these criminal acts.
The upcoming court appearance of the suspects
The suspects in the murder case of Mr Brendon Horner are set to appear in court on 16 October 2020 and Government would like to appeal to members of the community to remain calm and avoid breaking the law or taking the law into their own hands. Law enforcement agencies will be on the ground to ensure that everyone attending the proceedings are and feel safe.
Prioritized rural safety and development of rural areas
Government takes rural safety seriously which is demonstrated through the recent establishment of the national and local Joint Rural Safety Command Centers agreed to between the SAPS and the farming sector.
Government appeals to the community to be calm during this period and to allow the law enforcement agencies an opportunity to do their job. By acting within the law, citizens can make our communities safer and more secure. Irrespective of how angry or unhappy any person or community is, the law cannot be taken into one's own hands.
Government condemns the violence and takes a dim view against those who murder other human beings. This extends not only to farmers and farm workers but to members of society in general. Farmers and farm workers are the backbone of our economy and nothing can justify the criminal activity associated with these attacks and killings. These senseless killing of farmers and their workers affects all South Africans and threaten food security, employment, economic growth and job creation.
The safety and stability of farming communities is critical in providing South Africa with food and creation of jobs. Criminals take advantage of the farming community because of their isolation and none-proximity to other communities. Government is fast tracking the implementation of the revised Rural Safety Strategy to respond to the security needs of rural communities as well as support social and economic development. Government will continue to use the District Development Model to ensure that critical infrastructure development in the country benefits rural areas.
Members of the public are encouraged to assist SAPS members in performing their duties by joining Community Police Forums, which ensure constant liaison between communities and the police. Responsible and active citizenry is the bedrock of any democracy and ensures the protection of human life and property.
Together we can make our country safer for all and ensure that we live in dignity and at peace with one another.
Report crime at your local police station, or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 which is available 24 hours a day.