Farmers deserve a thank you, not a murder – minister

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana and AfriForum met this week to discuss the safety of farmers and people in rural areas, they said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Minister Senzeni Zokwana - (City Press)

Minister Senzeni Zokwana – (City Press)

“The minister was impressed with the steps taken by AfriForum to involve local communities in safety initiatives, and with the decline in crime which has resulted from the initiatives.”

AfriForum expressed appreciation for Zokwana’s having pledged his department’s support for these initiatives.

The civil rights group told the minister that it was concerned about farmers being depicted as “scapegoats” in some politicians’ rhetoric.

Zokwana responded: “Farmers have families. They are feeding the nation. They deserve a thank you, not a murder”.

AfriForum and the department agreed on a five-point plan to address rural violence.

This included both parties would take a firm stance against those contributing to incitement of violence and those who made “irresponsible or sweeping statements that might impede on mutual recognition and respect among different communities”.

AfriForum would also make its research on farm murders available to the department.

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