- Deputy President David Mabuza said he was shocked following the murder of Glen and Vida Rafferty in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
- Mabuza condemned violent attacks on farmers and people in rural farming communities.
- He said he would institute a programme aimed at curbing violent attacks on farmers.
Deputy President David Mabuza says he has learnt "with shock and dismay" of the brutal murder of farmers Glen and Vida Rafferty in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
News24 reported that the couple was murdered on their farm in Normandien, near Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal.
Unknown attackers shot the farm owner, 63, and his wife, 60, as well as their dog, according to police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
In a statement, Mabuza said he condemned violent attacks on farmers and people in rural farming communities, stressing the importance of the agricultural sector to the economy of South Africa.
The deputy president called on all South Africans to value farmers and farmworkers, and to be relentless in pursuit of a better country, wherein all people live in dignity and at peace with one another.
"This is what defines who we are as a nation and should be the guiding light within our communities. Even in difficult times, our prevailing challenges must not lead us to despair and to engage in all that is against our humanity as a people. We must remain resolute in building a better South Africa that values human life," he said.
On Friday, Mabuza will convene the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture in his capacity as its chairperson.
The meeting will, inter alia, focus on specific programmes aimed at curbing violent attacks on farmers, which Mabuza says has a negative impact of food production and security.
"The lives of farmers, farmworkers and farm dwellers, as well as every citizen of the country, black and white, matter; it is for this reason that government will continue to work with the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to ensure prevention as a priority in dealing with farm murders," said Mabuza.
He called on the police to conduct thorough investigations and bring the perpetrators to book to ensure that justice is served for the victims.