I congratulate the South African Police and the National Prosecuting Authority for the successful arrest, conviction, and sentencing of the attackers of Raymond O'Grady and his wife, Betty.
The O'Gradys were brutally attacked on the Hillcrest Berry Farm in the Cape Winelands District in August 2020.
I further welcome the sentence of an effective 23 years imprisonment handed down. It signals that those who attack our farming communities will be dealt with harshly and to the full extent of the law.
Rural safety is a key priority in the Western Cape.
Any attack on the farming community is an attack on our rural economy.
The Cape Winelands is a predominantly horticultural area, accounting for 60% of farm income in the district. It is also the main agricultural area in the province, accounting for 33.5% of the provincial agricultural gross value add (GVA).
We will not tolerate attacks on our farmers and farm workers.
I will continue to ensure that farming communities are protected and treated with the dignity they deserve.