- Police Minister Bheki Cele says that the SAPS will not classify farm attacks and even murders as a priority crime
- The minister says that authorities are using an immense amount of resources to detect and prevent farm attacks
- Cele explained that crimes linked to these attacks are categorised as contact crimes, the most serious crime category
Police Minister Bheki Cele says that farm attacks and murders will not be classified as priority crimes. The minister explained that this is because these attacks usually involve incidents classified as aggravated robbery on a farm or dwelling.
While the minister says that these crimes will not be made a priority, he did confirm that they include the most 'serious crimes' that the SAPS investigates:
"The crimes associated with farm attacks are, therefore, included in the most serious category of crimes SAPS reports on."
The minister has been responding to a parliamentary question posed by DA MP Andrew Whitfield over the plan to adopt a national rural safety strategy to curb crime in these communities.
Cele explained that the plan will be implemented over the course of the next five years, set to draw to a close in 2025.
News24 reports that political parties have had mixed reactions to this plan to combat farm attacks following its unveiling.
The Freedom Front Plus had thanked Cele for the strategy while the Democratic Alliance had snubbed the government's inaction over the situation. Cele confirmed that authorities have deployed an immense amount of resources into preventing farm attacks, commenting that:
"Rural safety coordinators have been appointed to coordinate all activities within the rural policing area and to strengthen implementation of the national safety plan at police stations are tasked to address identified hotspots."
The minister further explained that rural safety priority committees meet monthly and quarterly to monitor incidents in a bid to establish trends and to plan interventions and operations to ensure citizens are kept safe.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Cele was recently criticised after an operation to clamp down on tavern owners violating lockdown laws.
Cele had joined the operation, which found some establishments operating after the curfew times, resulting in a number of arrests.
Citizens had snubbed Cele over the focus placed on these regulations with many raising the opinion that South Africa had far more serious crimes that needed to be investigated.
As a result, Cele trended on social media as citizens voiced their immense disapproval.
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