“The slaughter of farmers in farm attacks must be stopped, and the FF Plus has requested an urgent debate in parliament to discuss this issue,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus said.
Dr. Groenewald in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, requested to schedule a discussion on farm attacks and farm murders urgently and without delay.
He said that the murder of four people of the Smuts family on their farm outside Balfour in Mpumalanga on 15 February 2017 brought to 11 the number of farmers murdered this month. Thirty farm attacks have taken place in February of this year alone, averaging two farm attacks every day.
“What is especially worrying, is that there has been a serious increase in the number of farm attacks and farm murders in the last couple of years, as well as the brutality accompanying many of these attacks. Despite this, our national police services have not succeeded in their duty to safeguard rural areas and in particular the farming community,
“70 farmers were killed in 345 farm attacks in 2016, thus averaging a farmer being murdered every fourth day,
“It just can’t continue like this. Farm attacks affect every South African. Close to one million people are employed in the agricultural sector, which contributes 6,9% to the GDP of the country,
“There is already less than 35 000 commercial farming units producing food for the people of our country,
“The loss of one farmer, whether a smallholder farmer or commercial farmer, not only has an immediate direct impact on the families of the murdered farmer and his/her workers, but it is a direct threat to food security and ultimately our GDP,
“It will, therefore, have serious ramifications for the security of the country, not only in terms of food security but also the stability in our labour market and our economic development,
“I, therefore, urge you to allow this parliament to urgently discuss this matter to ensure that the executive takes cognisance of the urgency required implementing measures to address this growing tragedy,” Dr. Groenewald said.