Farm murders; appoint an independent judicial commission of inquiry statement by Deputy-President (17 July 1998)

The continuous and systematic murders of farmers have passed a point that it can simply be brushed aside or explained away. Four times more farmers are murdered than the rest of the population. Government must take every possible action in order to ensure that an immediate end is brought to the senseless killings on farmers and the subsequent destabilization of the agricultural work force and industry.

As in the case of Richmond, the UDM is calling for an Independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the farm killings. No progress seems to be made by the normal law enforcement agencies and the measures implemented by the ANC government are obviously unsuccessful. Communities are loosing trust in the government's ability to protect them.

The UDM previously called on government to make known the information they do have on the murder of farmers. Up to now they have failed to do so and there is a growing suspicion that the killings on farmers might be a well-calculated and executed strategy to remove farmers from their land. This very dangerous prospect needs to be fully investigated and answers need to be provided. Failing to do so will lead to further suspicion and the ANC government will have to take responsibility for this. I have arranged meetings with Police authorities during which our views and recommendations will be presented.

Farmers are not only feeding the nation, but they are providing jobs to thousands of families. With every single killing taking place more and more farmers are loosing hope and are forced to leave their farms to safeguard their families. This more than often disrupt a total community, results in the loss of job opportunities and agricultural productivity dropping.

The UDM would like to express its sympathy with the next of kin and the family of the latest victim Mr. André Breytenbach from the farm Ruigtevlei, Soekmekaar in the Northern Province. Mr. Breytenbach was murdered on his farm last night.

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