Free State Agriculture (FSA) welcomes the start of the legal process of the alleged murderers of Brendin Horner and is of the view that bail should not be granted. According to the organisation’s President, Francois Wilken, it is important that attention is not distracted from this legal process. “Justice for Brendin and his family remains paramount,” Wilken said.
According to Free State Agriculture, the events surrounding Senekal show that South Africa is at a crossroad. Violent crime in general, but specifically violence against farmers and farm workers, is dividing communities. “Seen in the light of the government’s continued expropriation plans – which also picked up momentum this week – organized agriculture will have to emerge stronger to represent the interests of agriculture and the rural community,” Wilken said.
This week, the state made several important undertakings to the agricultural community, which include action against corrupt SAPS members and to focus on combating farm attacks. FSA welcomes the government’s entry, but now demands real results. History shows, however, that organized agriculture cannot sit back in good faith and wait for the government. Therefore, organized agriculture itself will show initiative to improve conditions.
The emotion surrounding the Senekal protests shows that farm attacks have become symbolic of what is going wrong in South Africa for many people and communities. This means that agriculture is involved in a larger debate. Therefore, we will have to reconsider our existing tactics.
“Support from our own ranks, but also from the community is important for a successful and sustainable agricultural environment”, Wilken said. It is the duty of the organised agriculture community to harness this support with appreciation and prudence. Therefore, in the future, farmers will have to act proactively in order to make their own voice heard and the community’s voices regarding rural security.