Stop making radical statements: Agri SA
Bloemfontein - Political parties should refrain from making radical statements that could have a negative impact on certain communities, the commercial farming body Agri SA said on Thursday.
Agri SA president Johannes Möller said such statements were usually accompanied by emotion, which led to incorrect perceptions of people.
"Political parties should strongly condemn violent crime, which has already drastically changed the lives of many South Africans," he said in a statement.
Möller also urged South Africans to condemn violent crime and to co-operate within a community context by providing the police with information on planned crimes and criminals.
He criticised crimes against the farming community.
Möller was reacting to the murder of Ottosdal farmer André van der Merwe, and the murder of Johanna Parken and a farm worker on a smallholding outside of Lephalale on Wednesday.
"South Africa can no longer afford this," he said.
Agri SA said the farming community represented the hand that provided the nation with food and offered a livelihood to many people in rural areas.
Crime placed a question mark over democracy and the protection of human rights, it said.
Möller said all South Africans should refrain from making unqualified, derogatory and inflammatory statements about commercial farmers.
"Such statements do not contribute to nation-building and a peaceful society, but polarise communities."
He said that as responsible citizens, South Africans should respect each other’s rights and ensure that criminals no longer felt safe within communities.
The Agri SA president also called on Parliament to introduce legislation aimed at hate speech in order for prosecution to take place within a legal framework.