Farmer seeks security

2019-05-02 15:03

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The owners of a Donnybrook farm which was targeted in a xenophobic attack last month, have written to the SAPS to get assurance that incidents of that kind will not happen again.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Charles Anderson, owner of Emerald Dale Farm and Mfolozi Dairy, said in a letter to provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Lucky Mkhwanazi, that police did not take sufficient “pro-active measures” to deal with the attacks.

Assailants, who included former employees of the farm dismissed for various transgressions, demanded the owners fire six Zimbabweans working there and employ local people instead. A wooden house was torched and 17 cows were injured during the attack on the farm.

The incident occurred soon after the farm obtained an interdict against 21 community members from organising protests, but before those implicated were served with the interim order.

Six people were arrested and later released.

Anderson’s letter alleged the Sheriff of the High Court, who went to serve the interdict on the 21 community members, was not assisted by local police to do so, and had to wait for public order police members from Durban for help. Moolman and Pienaar Incorporated, acting on behalf of Anderson, said the police should have anticipated the risk of an attack.

They added: “Any informants or an effective crime intelligence unit should have been in possession of information that there was an eminent threat in the area” which should have “necessitated pro-active measures”.

They also asked the police to “ensure the safety of close to 400 people and their families who live on or are dependent upon the farm”.

Anderson’s lawyer, Hans-Jurie Moolman, told The Witness that normality had resumed at the farm, and that the owners had instituted disciplinary measures against some employees.

The SAPS did not respond to a query at the time of going to press.

Curbing crime

Agri SA has partnered with private security firm ADT to help curb farm attacks and agricultural crimes.

The agricultural organisation said its research suggested that farm attacks grew to “concerning levels” in the past two years, with 70% of farming units experiencing some form of crime. It said crime is costing the sector some R7,7 billion.

ADT will offer a range of services to AgriSA’s members and the rural community.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  farm attacks
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