Over the past five days 11 farm attacks took place in South Africa, which led to the death of four people. Since 1 January 2017 at least 341 farm attacks have already been carried out, during which 70 people have been murdered. This means that to date in 2017 more murders have already been committed during farm attacks than the entire number of farm murders during 2016.
In light of this AfriForum today launched a civil motion of no confidence against Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Police. The public can support this motion of no confidence by visiting the website www.stopdiemoorde.co.za.
“This year is the sixth consecutive year in which our figures indicate a rise in farm attacks and farm murders,” says Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum. “Since Mbalula’s appointment as Minister of Police on 31 March 2017 he has done nothing to improve rural safety. His don’t care attitude is also clearly visible in the increase we see in this year’s farm murders.” Roets says that Mbalula’s first priority is his own image, rather than the safety of citizens of the country.
Lorraine Claasen, Researcher at AfriForum Research Institute (ANI), also spoke during the conference. “I realise that the work of the minister of police must be difficult and challenging, but I don’t know how Minister Mbalula sleeps at night. He must stop throwing stones from his glass house, because South Africa is burning and the time for talking is over – and has been over for a long time. Nothing changes: Only empty promises are given and repeated time and again, but the political will and intervention from government is totally absent. Politicians like to refer to it as the ‘problem of farm attacks’. It is not a problem; it is a disaster,” says Claasen.
Kyle Stols (21) was the foreman on a game farm in Jagersfontein when he was murdered on Sunday. Joubert Conradie (47), a farmer near the Klapmuts area outside Stellenbosch, was murdered during a farm attack yesterday morning.
Gawie Stols, Kyle’s brother, attended AfriForum’s media conference in Centurion today to tell how the family and community have been affected by his murder.
“In the past I would’ve looked at an article about a farm attack in the newspaper and would’ve thought how bad it was, and then moved the newspaper aside. But this week it was my brother, Kyle, whose murder was on the front page. He was only 21 years old,” Stols said during the conference. He pleaded that people should care more and see how each of us can become involved. He asked that people must realise that it affects us all. “It is only a matter of time before it is your family member or friend on the front of that newspaper. My brother was maybe just another number, just another victim, but he meant something to me.”