- Helen Zille has highlighted her concern over farm murders in South Africa
- The newly-appointed federal council chair warns that these crimes pose a threat to food security
- In a recent interview, Zille slammed the police's efforts to fight crime in rural areas
Helen Zille, newly-appointed federal council chair, has weighed in on the debate surrounding farm murders.
Zille has warned that should the murders continue, food security in South Africa may well be compromised:
“It is absolutely critical. More and more farmers are selling up if they can find a buyer, more and more farmers are parting with their land to the state, to enable a once productive farm to lie in ruin and we will one day have no food in this country if we carry on like this."
Speaking to 702, Zille pointed out that there are only 40 000 farmers in the country, tasked with feeding over 57 million citizens. The DA politician feels that one of the first steps towards solving the issue is to remove Police Minister Bheki Cele from his post.
The South African reports that this comes after the minister was heavily criticised for the manner in which he handles the issue.
The DA has recently approved a party resolution to see farm murders being declared a hate crime with Diane Barnard commenting that:
“The SAPS plan has failed and farmers, black and white, their wives, children, and parents are four times more likely to be killed than the average South African."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that 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.
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