AfriForum said in a statement released by deputy CEO Ersnt Roets his organisation welcomes the announcement by Lt-Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, the acting National Police Commissioner. Phahlane was reported to say farm murders, rural attacks and livestock theft will be prioritised. The statement seems to be in contrast with earlier statements by the ruling ANC and Police Minister that these crimes will be dealt with as ordinary crimes.
The campaign for upgrading these crimes to priority status have been a priority of AfriForum for number of year now. Late last year the organisation even lead a delegation to the United Nations asking for international pressure on the SA government to prioritise these crimes.
Roets said the announcement was ‘a major step in the right direction, but that the fight had not been won automatically. The real test ultimately lies in the figures. We believe that a sustainable strategy against farm murders is impossible without prioritisation by the police and the availability of the necessary resources”.
AfriForum’s management met this week with Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to discuss farm murders and the possible steps to be taken to prevent them. An announcement with detailed plans is expected soon.