Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Thursday it would look into a complaint by civil rights group Afriforum regarding farm murders.

“The commission acknowledges receipt of Afriforum's complaint and we welcome it,” Isaac Mangena said in a statement.

Afriforum's complaint, which was received on Thursday, was against police and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for allegedly not providing enough protection for farmers against attacks and murders.

In a statement Afriforum CEO Ernst Roets asked the commission to call a formal public hearing on farm murders.

“Afriforum requested specifically that the commission subpoena

the minister of police to testify before the commission and explain his failure to implement a focused counter-strategy for these types of crimes.”

He said farm attacks had become a crisis and that Mthethwa and the police department refused not only to implement a dedicated strategy, but even to acknowledge the crisis existed.

Afriforum added that while it did not seek special treatment for farmers, it believed the police department's failure to prioritise farm attacks constituted gross negligence and, by implication, human rights abuses.

Mangena said the SAHRC would look into it according to the commission's complaints-handling procedure.

“It's worth pointing out that the Afriforum, in its submission, has also requested that the SAHRC exercise its powers under the relevant legislation to initiate a public hearing on the subject.”

He said the commission appreciated the suggestion and the SAHRC commissioners would consider the proposal.

“We welcome any efforts that will ensure that right of all citizens, farmers included, are protected and respected.” - Sapa