Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area on Monday and convened a community imbizo in a bid to ease racial tensions.
Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.
DURBAN – Police Minister Bheki Cele said that he was determined to ensure police win back the trust of the Normandien community in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Cele visited the area on Monday and convened a community imbizo in a bid to ease racial tensions.
However, Cele was criticised by farm dwellers who accused him of favouring farmers over them because his visit was sparked by the killing of a local farming couple and not their concerns over crime.
#FarmMurders Police Minister Bheki Cele has made his 2nd visit to Normandien -Newcastle- KZN this month. A prominent farming couple was murdered here last month. Cele is expected to give an update on investigations and details on the Rural Safety Strategy. @NkoRaphael pic.twitter.com/rwdmlpHdvQ
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) September 21, 2020
The Normandien Farmer’s Association has also criticised Monday’s community meeting led by Cele.
Spokesperson Darrel Brown said: “I think a lot of the issues were driven by emotion and the flames were fuelled by activists that were here who were pushing their own political agendas.”
Cele said that safety interventions would be implemented in the area soon.
“Both the farmers and the farming community and the dwellers said they are very hesitant to open cases because the police are not very serious. So, the commission will be a sending a team to deal with those special cases.”
Despite expressing reservations about Monday’s meeting, many community members said they hoped that Cele would deliver on his promises.