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AfriForum appeals for govt intervention on farm murders

The organisation has been making recommendations before the SAHRC.

AfriForum CEO Ernst Roets. Picture: AfriForum.

JOHANNESBURG - AfriForum has called on government to address farm murders in the country and make this a priority.

The civil rights organisation says much like rhino poaching, cable theft and gang-related violence, farm attacks are unique and serious.

The organisation has been making recommendations before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in central Johannesburg.

The proceedings started with an emotional video by the families and friends of farm murder victims.

In 2012, AfriForum marched to the office of then police minister Nathi Mthethwa to hand over a memorandum which he allegedly refused to accept.

Exactly a year later, they marched to President Jacob Zuma's office to demand intervention and claimed their initiative was labelled racist.

AfriForum CEO Ernst Roets said the organisation has now written to the newly appointed Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss preventative measures against farm attacks.

He said despite farm crimes increasing, government's reaction remains the same.

The civil rights organisation is now hoping the SAHRC can escalate their recommendations.

'BEING A FARMER IS DANGEROUS'

The panel has heard that it is more dangerous to be a farmer or farm worker than a police officer in the country.

Bernadette Hall lost her husband two and a half years ago in an attack on their North West farm.

She described the experience as "traumatic" and the court process "ridiculing".

When chairman Danny Titus asked Hall what punishment she felt her husband's killers deserved - she said the harshest.

Roets earlier made a submission to the commission to approach the National Prosecuting Authority on incomplete prosecutions.

The panel has asked AfriForum to consider doing a case study in order to understand the cause of farm killings and attacks.

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