Police, civil society groups join forces to fight farm attacks

Police have identified Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal as hotspots.

Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Johannes Khomotso Phahlane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says his department will be setting up multi-disciplinary teams to priories investigating all farm-related crimes.

The South African Police Service met with some civil society groups in Pretoria today, including AfriForum, to discuss farm attacks, and to come up with solutions.

The police have also identified hotspots around the country that will be targeted, which include Gauteng, the North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

Phahlane says his department is working on plans that will result in a decrease in farm attacks and murders.

"Our resolve is to have these type of crimes prioritised, so that they receive the attention that they deserve from Saps."

The acting national commissioner says active community participation is also a key factor in fighting any form of crime.

"Most of the arrests that have been made are due to good cooperation from the local and farming communities."

He says the police will be collaborating with civil society groups and affected stakeholders to ensure crimes on farms are prevented.

Phahlane says while there has been a decrease in farm murders in the last financial year, it's not enough.

"We all agree that farm murders and attacks are an issue that warrants attention from all of us."

He says they will be implementing a number of initiatives, which include working with communities.

'We acknowledge the role of AfriForum in this regard. We appreciate today's engagement [and] we have agreed to collaborate going forward."