The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West is angered by the attack on Pier Schutte, a farmer from the Brits area. He was ambushed by an unknown number of attackers while attending to his cattle yesterday. Two shots were fired, of which one passed next to his lung through his back.
It is not yet known whether any items were stolen. No arrests have been made.
He was airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg where he is currently in a critical condition.
This is the second attack on Mr Schutte. Earlier this year, four men awaited him at his farm gate. Shots were fired, but no injuries were sustained and the men fled the scene.
It is concerning that the biggest percentage of farm attacks in North West takes place in the Brits/Hartebeespoort area. To this end, the DA will write to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, requesting his urgent intervention.
It is further concerning that more game farms are now being targeted and this trend needs to be nipped in the bud.
The incessant terrorization of farmers and farm workers poses a serious threat to food security, economic growth and job creation. If the ANC government is serious about preventing more farmers from leaving the agricultural sector, urgent action should be taken to ensure the safety of rural communities.
It is no secret that the SAPS is under–resourced and simply not equipped to deal with rural safety concerns and we therefore once again call for the reinstatement of rural safety units.
The DA commends the farming communities and patrollers for filling the gap left by an incompetent police service and again calls for government to declare farm attacks as a priority crime.
The backlog at the SAPS Forensic Unit is further delaying the conclusion of criminal cases, but we will, through our Court Watching Briefs Unit, monitor the progress on this case to ensure that justice is served.