Farmers meet police brass over safety plan

Staff Writer | May 18, 2019
Redeploying reservists as part of a new rural safety strategy was discussed at a meeting between the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) and senior leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Using ‘agriculture-friendly reservists’ in the fight to bring down South Africa’s high rural crime rate was the ‘starting point’ for discussions this week between the SAPS and representatives of the TAU. 

The farmers’ union said in a statement: ‘The National Commissioner of the South African Police, Gen. Khehla John Sitole and various senior managers in the Service met with TLU/TAU SA regarding mutual interests in terms of rural safety and the implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy.’

A spokesperson for the TAU, Maj. Gen. Chris van Zyl (ret.), said: ‘The application of the strategy in terms of agricultural requirements and the concept of agriculture-friendly reservists served as the starting point for the discussions.

‘Gen. Sitole recognised and praised TLU/TAU SA’s role in rural safety since October 1993… he wanted to confirm TLU/TAU SA’s support in the ongoing battle against crime, specifically in local and agricultural communities.’

Van Zyl added: ‘The discussions were held in a spirit of goodwill and constructive feedback … both groups were in agreement that mutual understanding and cooperation will be the guide for the future.’

South Africa’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world with over 30 out of every 100 000 people in the country being murdered annually. The IRR has previously shown that near on half a million South Africans have been murdered since 1994. Research shows that farmers in South Africa are attacked at a rate far higher than the general population. The government and many civil society groups and commentators in the media have tended to play down or understate the extent of violent attacks against South African farmers.  


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