Posted on September 14, 2006

Govt ‘Involved’ In Farm Attacks, September 8, 2006

Pretoria — The government was implicitly involved in farm attacks, a conference of Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU-SA) heard on Thursday.

“Its involvement lies in its failure to do something,” the union’s national safety and security committee chairperson Danie du Plessis told conference delegates. He likened the situation to foreign governments closing their eyes in the 1940s to the Jewish holocaust.

Du Plessis blamed the government’s transformation policy for what he described as a slackening of the country’s security forces — which he said were loyal to the ruling party and not the general population. Transformation amounted to lowering the white citizen’s position in society and making him submissive to the will of the masses, he said. This also undermined the country’s economic prosperity.

The TAU claims a countrywide membership of some 6 000 white commercial farmers.

Du Plessis said a growing crime level spurred on by an inefficient police force, had a huge financial impact on the farming sector. Stock theft in the year to March 31 amounted to about R230m, and total farming losses due to theft to nearly R750m. The country’s 45 000-odd commercial farmers suffered an average loss of R26 190 in the year due to theft.

Transformation had paved the way for criminal elements and political pressure groups to take aim at commercial farmers and their dependants, du Plessis said. Deputy chairperson Herman De Wet cited new firearm legislation as an attempt at a “massive disarmament” of the citizenry.

The conference adopted a proposal for amendments to the legislation, which would see existing firearms licences remaining valid until the death of the owner or him being declared unfit. There should also be no limit to the number of firearms or amount of ammunition a licence-holder was allowed to have, the draft resolution states.