Bikers ride against farm killings

2018-04-19 06:01

IN an attempt to eradicate the high number of farm murders in South Africa, a group of bike riders, called 911 Riders, visited Tongaat SAPS on April 10 to raise awareness on farm attacks.

The riders handed over a letter of appreciation to Tongaat SAPS to congratulate the station on being at the forefront in fight against farm murders.

Pastor TJ Mare said: “All we are saying to the farming community is that it’s important that the safety system is good.

“We are working hand-in-hand with the police to curb [farm killings]. Working hand-in-hand means all communities including the CPFs and farm watches should be one thing. We must not wait until one of our neighbours has been attacked.

“We must [handle it] right at the beginning. We realise and recognise that the police have limited resources because of various reasons. Not limited not to do their jobs, but there are always challenges that need to be faced,” said the pastor.

Cluster commander Major General Lucas Ngobeni said: “As the police we accept the concept of community involvement and I am sure this initiative will take us a long way in making sure that we succeed in fight the against crime. This is a [good] awareness campaign.

“You have taken us halfway to where we supposed to be.”

Ngobeni said SAPS has a programme called Rural Safety that tackles issues affecting farmers. He also said there were no recent farm killings in Tongaat.

“In this financial year, from the April 1 to March 31 we had only one incident of stock theft,” Ngobeni added. A representative from Tongaat Mill Group Mahan Reddy said some of the problems affecting farmers range from theft of sugar cane and loose illegal electricity cables running in the sugarcane plantation.

“Due to the illegal electricity cables running on the sugarcane fields, farmers find it hard to burn the sugarcane.

“Some of the problems that we are facing range from wild fire and stray goats and cattle grazing in the farms. “We have not received any reports of farm killings recently,” Reddy said.

Spokesperson for Tongaat SAPS Captain Patrick Ngwane said a sector commander has been deployed to ensure that farmers are safe in Tongaat.

“The sector commander was assigned under the Rural Safety campaign which is a national initiative aimed at protecting farmers countrywide.

“We have taken proactive steps towards the fight against crime especially in the farms. We received a letter of appreciation because our station complies with the national Rural Safety campaign,” Ngwane said.

The bike riders visited other police stations on the North Coast, including Empangeni, to hand over a letter of appreciation to all the station commanders.

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