AfriForum on 7 March 2018 sent a request to Genl. Bheki Cele, the new Minister of Police, with a view to arrange a meeting to discuss farm murders and illegal land occupation. This follows after numerous remarks from political circles since the beginning of the year over the expropriation of land without compensation.
“Political remarks that increasingly portray legal land owners as the enemy or even land thieves create a climate for an increase in farm attacks. In January 2018 there have already been double the amount of farm attacks than in January 2017,” says Ian Cameron, Head of Community Safety at AfriForum.
According to Cameron there are already incidents where land is illegally occupied due to political remarks – remarks such as that of Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s acceptance and approval of the policy to expropriate land without compensation.
“Irresponsible political remarks increase the level of uncertainty and cause further feelings of threat for legal land owners. We want to meet with Cele to talk about what the police will do to maintain law and order in communities where property right is increasingly coming under pressure,” says Cameron.
Cameron is of the opinion that a discussion with Cele is critical to accomplish cooperation between the police and citizenry, as well as to get a peaceful solution in the search for law and order – especially in rural areas. He emphasises that people must become involved with community safety structures to thusly mobilise against illegal land grabs.