Farmers disgusted with Police Commissioner’s flippant remarks about farm murders

“Could someone perhaps assist the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, with the interpretation of farm murder statistics,” says TAU SA’s Deputy President and Chairman of the Safety Committee, Mr Henry Geldenhuys. He reacted on the Commissioner’s submission to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) where she said that farm murders are declining and that there is no difference between a farm murder and any other murder.

Earlier TAU SA released its figures for farm murders for 2014 until the end of September. Accordingly it seems that this year 53 murders occurred in 210 attacks. This represents a sharp increase over 2013, when until the end of September 43 murders occurred in 164 attacks. “It is amazing that on one hand the Commissioner may assert that there is a decline in farm attacks and murders, and on the other hand showing the error factor on the police’s own statistics. Presumably, other police statistics will be wrong too,” said Mr Geldenhuys. This unacceptable situation requires the SAPS have to make their own statistics public. There is no reason other than their own inability to try to disguise it, than to announce crime statistics on a regular basis.

“The HRC hearing has learnt about enough evidence of a lack of police action, for any reason whatsoever. Where appeals to the community to assist the police are made, the SAPS structures are not in place, as the chaotic situation around police reservists indicates.

“In some of the traditionally black communities it happens nowadays more regularly that  the law is taken into their own hands because the police do not act. It will be a dark day if that kind of behaviour would spread. The farmers are becoming impatient with the feeling that they are free game,” said Mr Geldenhuys.