Minister’s silence ‘borders on collusion’

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By SAPA

Parys - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa remains silent on farm attacks to an extent that borders on collusion, Afriforum said on Tuesday.

“The minister's silence on the scourge of farm attacks is a disgrace,” the civil rights organisation's deputy chief executive Ernst Roets said in a statement.

“If the minister is serious about the protection of South Africans, he would have declared farm attacks a priority crime years ago.”

Roets was reacting to reports that an elderly couple were found dead on a farm near Parys, Free State, on Tuesday.

Mthethwa's spokesman Zweli Mnisi said Afriforum was “racialising” the crime.

“Their allegations that the minister is not speaking out against farm attacks is a clear sign of selective analysis and listening,” he said.

“We do not just speak out, we act against any criminality that occurs within farms, and when we speak about farm attacks, we do not racialise crime like they do.”

He said the government intended dealing with all rural crime.

“As government we commit ourselves to fighting crime in whatever form it manifest(s) itself in our society - including farm killings.”

Police spokeswoman Colonel Thandi Mbambo said the couple was found dead in a tuck shop they ran from a garage on the farm on Tuesday.

“The husband was found on the floor of the tuck shop, with his feet tied and head covered with a material sack,” she said.

The body of the woman, aged between 70 and 75, was found stuffed into a freezer. No visible injuries were found on their bodies.

The bodies were taken to the state mortuary where post mortems would be conducted to determine the cause of their deaths.

A domestic worker arrived at the house at 7.30am on Tuesday, found the farm house ransacked and the couple missing. A neighbour arrived and helped search for them, until they were found in the tuck shop.

No arrests had been made. - Sapa

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