Vrystaat Landbou maan landbouers om betrokke te wees by veiligheidstrukture

Vrystaat Landbou (VL) spreek sy innige meegevoel uit teenoor die familie van Klaus Meier, van die plaas Asgard naby Ladybrand, wat vermoor is. VL veroordeel enige vorm van plaasaanvalle en misdade en spreek hom ten sterkste uit teen wat met Meier gebeur het.

Gerhard Kriel, Hoof Uitvoerende Beampte van VL, het sy organisasie se lede en landbouers in die Vrystaat gemaan om betrokke te wees by georganiseerde landbou.

“Vrystaat Landbou veroordeel die sinnelose geweld wat teen landbouers gepleeg word en wil tog die landbougemeenskap vra om aktief betrokke te wees by die strukture van georganiseerde landbou,” sê hy. “Dit sluit onder andere die aktiewe toepassing van die Landelike Beveiligingsplan en ook ondersteuningsnetwerke van onmidelilikke landbouers in die omgewing, soos byvoorbeeld die van jou buurman, in.”

Kriel sê veral in die lig van ’n vorige aanval in Ladybrand, waarin ’n plaasbestuurder op 19 Maart 2018 vermoor en sy vrou aangerand is, is dit belangrik dat landbouers in dié omgewing se ondersteuningsnetwerke in plek moet wees. Hy meen dit stel landbouers in staat om hul veiligheid op te skerp.

VL doen ’n beroep op sy lede om die organisasie se veiligheidstrukture, in samewerking met die polisie, te ondersteun en deurlopend hul veiligheid te verbeter.

Meier is vermoedelik op 15 Junie 2018 naby Marseilles, tussen Ladybrand en Tweespruit, vermoor. Sy lyk is op 17 Junie 2018 deur sy vrou gevind. Volgens VL se inligting is die motief vir die moord nie duidelik nie en was daar geen geforseerde toegang tot die huis nie.

Volgens Bernard Maree, VL se Veiligheidsverteenwoordiger in die Mantsopa-streek, word die nadoodse ondersoek op 19 Junie 2018 gedoen.

Dr Jane Buys, Veiligheidsrisiko-analis van VL, sê Ladybrand is ’n gevaargebied, aangesien twee (Meier en die plaasbestuurder) van die drie moorde in die Vrystaat daar plaasgevind het. Daar was altesaam drie aanvalle hier in 2018.

VL is in kontak en werk nou saam met die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD) en die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag (SANW) om veiligheid by die grens te verbeter. Alles moontlik word gedoen om voorvalle soos Meier s’n te voorkom.

• Volgens Buys was daar onlangs goeie terugvoer by ’n Provinsiale Prioritetiskomitee- vergadering, wat die polisie, weermag en ander belanghebbendes insluit, oor operasies wat by die grens tussen Suid-Afrika en Lesotho uitgevoer word. Verskeie suksesse is aangemeld en Buys is positief daaroor.

Dié gesamentlike operasies tussen die SAPD, SANW en Lesotho-eweknieë word in oorgrens-areas uitgevoer. “Tydens die operasies word padblokkades gehou, veediefstal aangespreek en gesteelde voertuie word teruggevind,” sê Buys. “Arrestasies word ook gemaak oor die vervoer van vee sonder permitte. Ons wil graag hierdie operasies meer gereeld, byvoorbeeld maandeliks, langs die grens sien.”

Volgens die VL VKB Veiligheidslessenaar se inligting het daar vanaf 1 Januarie tot 18 Junie 2018 altesaam 17 plaasaanvalle, waarvan drie moorde was, in die Vrystaat plaasgevind. In dieselfde tydperk verlede jaar was daar 28 aanvalle, waarvan twee moord-insidente met drie moordslagoffers. Dus was daar ’n afname in die getal plaasaanvalle in die provinsie, alhoewel dieselfde hoeveelheid moorde gepleeg is.

 

Free State Agriculture urges farmers to be involved in safety structures

Free State Agriculture (FSA) expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family of Klaus Meier, of the farm Asgard near Ladybrand, who was murdered. FSA condemns any kind of farm attacks and crimes and strongly opposes what happened to Meier.

Gerhard Kriel, Chief Executive Officer of FSA, called on his organization’s members and farmers in the Free State to be involved in organized agriculture.

“Free State Agriculture condemns the senseless violence committed against farmers and asks the agricultural community to be actively involved in the structures of organized agriculture,” he said. “This includes the active application of the Rural Safety Plan and also support networks of surrounding farmers in the area, such as your neighbours.”

Kriel says especially in the light of a previous attack in Ladybrand, in which a farm manager was killed on 19 March 2018 and his wife assaulted, it is important that the support networks of farmers in this area should be in place. He believes that it allows farmers to improve their safety.

FSA calls on its members to support the organization’s safety structures, in cooperation with the police, and continuously improve their safety.

Meier was presumably killed on 15 June 2018 near Marseilles, between Ladybrand and Tweespruit. His body was found by his wife on 17 June 2018. According to FSA’s information, the motive for the murder is not clear and there was no forced access to the house.

According to Bernard Maree, FSA’s Safety Representative in the Mantsopa region, the post-mortem investigation is being conducted on 19 June 2018.

Dr Jane Buys, Security Risk Analyst of FSA, says Ladybrand is a hot spot, as two (Meier and the farm manager) of the three murders in the Free State have taken place here. There were a total of three attacks in Ladybrand in 2018.

FSA is in touch and works closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to improve safety at the border. Everything is being done to prevent incidents such as Meier’s.

  • According to Buys, there recently were good feedback at a Provincial Priority Committee meeting, which includes the police, defence force and other stakeholders, on operations carried out at the border between South Africa and Lesotho. Several successes have been reported and Buys is positive about it.

These joint operations between the SAPS, SANDF and Lesotho counterparts are conducted in cross border areas. “During the operations roadblocks are held, stock theft is addressed and stolen vehicles are being retrieved,” says Buys. “Arrests are also made on the transport of stock without permits. We would like to see these operations more frequently, for example monthly, along the border.”

According to the FSA VKB Safety Desk’s information, there were a total of 17 farm attacks, of which three were murders, in the Free State from 1 January to 18 June 2018. In the same period last year there were 28 attacks, of which two were murder incidents involving three murder victims. Therefore there was a decrease in the number of farm attacks in the province, although the same amount of murders were committed.

 

 

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