Speaking about the recent spate of farm attacks and killings across the province, Jula said: “Since June 1, there have been 12 farm attacks in the province,” and that while “every crime is one too many”, the National Rural Safety Strategy was being re-evaluated to enhance capability, “especially in the Winelands and Worcester areas”.
Originally, the Rural Safety Strategy was approved for implementation between 2011 and 2015. In 2014, there were the SA Human Rights Commission hearings and recommendations to ensure safety, and in 2016 there was a proposal to host a rural safety summit/round-table conference, which was approved by the acting national commissioner.
Rural safety, including incidents of violence on farms and smallholdings, was prioritised by the then acting national commissioner of police. Asked whether there had been any arrests, the provincial commissioner said while he could not disclose too much about ongoing investigations, there had been arrests. “We are following up on who is responsible there,” he said.
The provincial commissioner was speaking at a ministerial stakeholder engagement at the Samora Machel Library which had been called by Police Minister Bheki Cele.