Most farmers are not a “bunch of racists”‚ says Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
“There are rotten potatoes which from time to time play themselves out in different episodes‚” he told a media conference in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“There will be from time to time episodes that play themselves out in terms of racists attacks‚” Mbalula said.
Mbalula met with agricultural industry body AgriSA on Wednesday to discuss a rural safety strategy. They agreed to form a rural safety strategy in the next week.
“We don’t want blah‚ blah‚ blah. Hot air. No plan. Nothing to evaluate. No targets.”
AgriSA committed their resources towards ensuring rural safety.
Mbalula said: “In that way we will crush criminality in the rural areas.”
Mbalula said rural safety was key to ensuring farmers continued their work and food production to grow the South African economy.
“We must attend to farm killing‚ attacks and all of that. We must prevent any form of disruption with regard to production that takes place at the level of the farms.”
Omri van Zyl‚ AgriSA CEO‚ said they should have implemented a plan “like yesterday”.
He praised Mbalula’s practical “no nonsense” approach.
“Our job is to produce food. Our job is to create food security for everybody in this country and to ensure there is economic prosperity.”
Lieutenant-General Nobesuthu Princess Masiye said AgriSA would form part of the police’s Cluster-‚ Provincial and National Operational and Intelligence Structure and that 1‚181 police reservists had been appointed who would undergo training.
Mbalula warned farmers against using illegal immigrants as labourers and said it was in the best interest of farmers to register labourers.
“Cheap labour is a short-lived achievement. It is not sustainable in the context of our economy.”
Mbalula said the latest annual crime statistics would be released in the next two weeks.
Here are the provincial hotspots for attacks and murders on farms: