Durban - The Department of Agriculture wants farmers in the province to actively engage with the government to keep it informed of their needs.
This after the latest farm murder reported in KZN.
“We cannot guess about the needs of the farmers, they operate through their unions and have never even sought an audience with the MEC Themba Mthembu,” said department spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana.
He was responding to complaints by a farmer that the government had left them to the mercy of criminals after the murder of Daniel Swanepoel, 57, a cattle farmer who was tortured and murdered on Friday last week.
Swanepoel is the second farmer murdered in Vryheid in less than two weeks. On Monday last week, during the Black Monday protest aimed at highlighting the scourge of farm killings, another farmer was killed.
Vegetable farmer Bokkie Potgieter was found dead in his bakkie and his alleged attacker was killed by workers on the neighbouring farm after he crashed the stolen bakkie.
When asked by The Mercury what security measures were being put in place and how they felt in the wake of the latest attacks, Vryheid farmer Braam van Niekerk gave an ominous warning to the government to act now against farm killings or it will be forced to act by “an empty stomach”.
Van Niekerk said, “We are waiting to see what the government does. So far it hasn't done anything. It should act, or does it want to act on an empty stomach? If that is what it wants, we can give it that.”