Thoko Didiza condemns brutal killing of Western Cape farmer

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has condemned the killing of Western Cape farmer Hendrik Pistorius.

Didiza urged the police to do “whatever it takes” to find the culprits who brutally killed Pistorius, adding that the killing of farmers and their employees has a negative impact on the agricultural sector.

“I wish to call for improved relations between farmers, farmworkers, neighbouring communities, and the police in order to put a stop to these senseless killings. I wish to convey my sincere and deepest condolences to Mr Pistorius’ family, friends, and colleagues,” said Didiza.

Pistorius, 53, was found dead in a bin at his farm in New Caledonia, Piketberg on Wednesday morning. According to media reports, he was allegedly beaten up and slain between 3am and 7am.

Meanwhile, DA provincial leader Tertuis Simmers said the opposition party reiterates its call for the decentralisation of policing to enable the province “to reinstate rural safety units”.

“Our farming communities are extremely vulnerable, and since the South African Police Service is critically under-staffed and therefore not able to protect these communities, it is imperative that rural safety units be reinstated as a matter of urgency,” said Simmers.

“We cannot continue down a path that only leads to more killings, more violence, and more blood. The ANC government needs to acknowledge that they simply cannot run an effective police service, and that they are incapable of providing viable solutions that will make our vulnerable communities safer.”

He said Pistorius was a well-known and respected member of the community. “We wish to send our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” added Simmers.

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