Bloemfontein - Police and farmers must be more pro-active against crime on farms, Free State Agriculture spokesman Bernard Maree said on Tuesday.
“Speedy reaction is good, but in many instances loss of life or serious trauma have already occurred,” he said in reaction to the attack and murder of Petrus Steyn farmer Jan de Kock.
De Kock and his wife were attacked on their farm on Sunday morning. De Kock's wife survived the attack.
Maree said the De Kock murder was the fifth farm attack reported in three months in the province.
“We condemn all incidents of violence on farms in the strongest terms.”
Maree said although the farming community appreciated the work done by the police they were of the opinion that the police and the communities must act more pro-actively towards crime on farms.
“Incidents on farms must be reported more speedily to the safety committees and police.”
Farmers must follow up on events or incidents reported to the police.
Maree also reminded farmers that their safety was firstly their own responsibility and then the responsibility of police.
He urged farmers and safety committees to continuously maintain their safety plans in their areas with the help of police.
Free State Democratic Alliance spokeswoman on agriculture, Leona Kleynhans, condemned the violent attacks and murders on farms during the past three months.
“It is not only farmers that suffer the brutality of murder, theft and robbery, but farmworkers and rural communities are also plagued by this.”
Kleynhans said a lack of support to emerging farmers, a failure to ensure the safety and security of rural communities and continuing economic decline in rural areas threatened the sector and food security.
“Ensuring the safety and security of our rural communities in the province remains one of our biggest concerns,” she said.