DOCUMENTS

Govt agrees to discuss statistics on farm attacks – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says Minister of Police Bheki Cele willing to discuss matter in an attempt to find solutions

Government agrees to discuss statistics on farm attacks with FF Plus

16 May 2018

After the government decided to once again release the statistics on farm murders, after years of silence on the matter and repeated requests by the FF Plus, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has now also said that he is willing to discuss the matter with the FF Plus in an attempt to find solutions to the growing problem.

This was in response to Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, who told the Minister that it is important to discuss farm attacks in order to refine the statistics and, in particular, to learn more about the victims of farm attacks.

Dr Groenewald told Minister Cele that he welcomes the decision to release the figures on farm murders. He added that these kinds of attacks increased over the last three years and that this sort of crime can only be effectively combated if the statistics are made available.

The police have finally done what the FF Plus has implored them to do for nearly two decades now and that is to appoint a competent police commissioner from the ranks of the police. Minister Cele does indeed have the necessary police experience after serving as police commissioner for a few years.

There is no excuse for not fighting crime effectively.

The FF Plus wants to thank the members of the police for their hard work to make South Africa a better place. They work very hard and remain dutiful even in life-threatening situations to protect the people of South Africa. Their commitment to serve makes South Africa a better country to live in. 

A special word of thanks to the approximately 5500 members who are part of the Police Public Order Unit. According to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Police, they responded to 14 374 incidences of violence and protests in the last year.

Dr Groenewald says that during the riots in North West, he witnessed how these members worked for hours on end with dwindling strength as they formed a barricade between an incompetent government and the people of South Africa in order to protect the people.

I am calling on Minister Cele to raise the issue with the government seeing as the blame for the public rioting due to poor service delivery can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the ruling party. And now the police must bear the consequences of having an incompetent government.

Since 1999, the FF Plus is on record saying that the police commissioner must not be a political appointment. It must be an experienced, competent person from the ranks of the police. That is what the police have now. Gen Khehla Sitole is experienced and competent and he appointed other competent members to support him in performing his duty.

It is shocking to hear that a warrant officer from an elite unit like the Hawks was arrested and that he appears to be the mastermind behind transit heists and other robberies. This cancer also taints the image of those members that work hard and it can no longer be tolerated.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 16 May 2018