Zille: Farm murders placing SA’s food security at risk

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Newly elected Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson Helen Zille said that the country only had 40,000 farmers left to feed 57 million citizens, meaning that food security was under threat.

FILE: DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Newly elected Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chairperson Helen Zille claims that farmers are 50 more likely to be murdered in South Africa than anyone else.

Over the weekend, the DA resolved to urge government to declare farm murders a hate crime.

Zille said that the country only had 40,000 farmers left to feed 57 million citizens, meaning that food security was under threat.

“It is absolutely critical. More and more farmers are selling up if they can find a buyer, more and more farmers are parting with their land to the state, to enable a once productive farm to lie in ruin and we will one day have no food in this country if we carry on like this.”

She said that urgent action needed to be taken.

“I think the first priority is to get rid of [Police Minister] Bheki Cele and then we might be able to have some serious focus on crime in South Africa. But the bottom line is this: farm murders are taking place out of all proportions to the number of farmers in South Africa.”

According to the latest police statistics available, there were 47 farm-related murders in the country for the period between April 2018 and March 2019. In the same year, over 1,000 people were killed in gang violence, while almost 2,000 were killed in due to arguments or misunderstandings. In September, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced during his crime statistics address that 49 farm murders were reported to police between April last year and March this year.

The party’s federal congress also elected John Steenhuisen as the new national leader.

Steenhuisen had been acting in the position following the resignation of former party leader Mmusi Maimane more than a year ago.

LISTEN: DA Fedco chair Helen Zille on party’s elective congress

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