Turn intention into action, Zuma told

2011-02-09 18:56
Johannesburg - Solidarity general secretary Dirk Hermann wrote an emotional letter to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday pleading with the government to turn their intentions on fighting crime into action.

This was after Hermann's uncle, Frik Hermann, was found dead at his farm near Alma in Limpopo on Tuesday.

He appealed to Zuma to recognise the pain and suffering of those who lost loved ones to crime in his State of the Nation address on Thursday.

"I am appealing to you to communicate to us the government's serious intention about crime. I am appealing to you to turn intentions into action," the letter read.

"Violent crime is something all South Africans can mobilise against.

"Mr Zuma, I will be listening to you in anticipation. We want to know where violent crime is on your agenda. Thousands of South Africans in pain will want to hear."

He questioned how much of a priority tackling crime was on the government's agenda.

"Are you really furious about the ghastly murders?

"Do you feel the pain we, the families who are left behind, feel?"

Hermann said his uncle's hands were tied behind his back. He said the 78-year-old man's body was so decomposed, it remained unclear how he was killed.

"With his hands tied he died a lonely death.

"My uncle is now a part of the statistics. He even has a number, number 1 647.

"This is according to a list the Transvaal Agriculture Union keeps of farmers who were murdered and of which they have record."

Just another number

Hermann said he found it distressing that his relative was "just another number".

"No shock waves are sent across the country because yet another farmer was murdered. He gets counted, that's all.

"Something is profoundly wrong in a democracy when cold-blooded murders become normal."

The ANC on Wednesday condemned the Hermann murder.

"We call on the SA Police Service to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the perpetrators of this ghastly deed," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

"The murder of Mr Hermann... is yet another chilling reminder that, while we are making tremendous strides in stamping out crime, there are still those in our midst who have vowed not to stop carrying out such criminal activities like farm killings."

Mthembu called on farmers and farming communities to strengthen community policing forums and step up their work with the police to ensure that criminals "have no place to hide in society and are hunted wherever they are.

"The death of Mr Hermann has robbed the country of someone who has dedicated most of his life to farming, so crucial in the economic growth and food security in the country," said Mthembu.

He expressed the party's heartfelt condolences to the Hermann family.

The Solidarity group last year launched an anti-crime campaign and delivered 16 000 letters to Zuma ahead of his state-of-the-nation address, appealing to him to take action against crime.

- SAPA
Read more on:    jackson mthembu  |  jacob zuma  |  dirk hermann  |  farm attacks
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