Letter: We need rural law enforcement

The Democratic Alliance is devastated to learn of yet another farm murder, this time in Glendale Heights, near Ballito, on the night of July 27.

The victim, 80-year old local farmer Bob Gawler, was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather. The DA extends its deepest condolences to his family, in particular to his wife, Denise, who was also subjected to physical and psychological trauma during the attack.

This scourge must be stopped. Despite President Zuma having called for the re-establishment of specialised units within South Africa’s police service, rural security does not seem to be a priority. These attacks are not limited to commercial farmers. They include farm workers and surrounding rural communities and are often under-reported.

The result is that rural communities continue to live in fear of criminals.

The DA has a workable plan aimed at improving and securing rural communities and ensuring the safety of farming communities.

This includes the establishment of a SAPS rural safety unit, the deployment of specialised Rural Reaction Units to clearly identified rural crime “hotspots” on a rotational basis, improving rural crime intelligence gathering and create a SAPS Rural Intelligence Centre aimed at improving the gathering and analysing of rural crime information, leading to better informed crime prevention initiatives.

It is a sacrilege that while farmers and farm workers are the lifeblood of KZN’s rural economy and food security, so many are being left to fend for themselves.

The DA urges National Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to take immediate steps to bring back rural law enforcement to protect our farming communities.
ANN MCDONNELL, DA MPLPietermaritzburg

The North Coast Courier

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