The FF Plus welcomes the announcement by the police that neighbourhood and farm watches are indeed allowed to resume their operations.
It is, however, frustrating and lamentable that the confirmation was only given nine days after the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, issued a regulation (33 (1)) on 28 May 2020, which clearly states that people may leave their homes for the purpose of rendering a specific service.
In terms of this regulation, neighbourhood and farm watches would have been allowed to resume their operations, but there was a lot of uncertainty about the matter that was only clarified once the police issued its notice.
Over the past few months, the FF Plus continually put pressure on the government and the police by means of formal requests and letters to, among others, President Cyril Ramaphosa, that emphasised the necessity of these private initiatives in helping the police combat crime.
The party also addressed a special request to Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to allow these organisations to resume their operations.
Since the lockdown and consequent ban on neighbourhood and farm watch activities was implemented, there has been a sharp rise in farm attacks.
Today, the media reported of an attack at Reivilo near Schweizer-Reneke in the North West in which a man was tortured with boiling water. Yesterday morning, a couple, Pieter (65) and Ann (61) Nel, was also attacked in their farmhouse near Brits, also in the North West province. Mr Nel was shot in the leg and chest and is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
Earlier this week, Mr Wim Struyf (68) and his wife, Martie (65), were attacked in their home in Mbombela, Mpumalanga. The couple escaped after Mr Struyf fought back with a baseball bat and Mrs Struyd activated an alarm.
Every South African has the right to protect him- or herself, their family and property within the constraints of the law and that is precisely what organised groups, like neighbourhood and farm watches, are trying to achieve with their operations.
The FF Plus welcomes the development, but laments the fact that many serious incidents that occurred over the past week could possibly have been prevented if the government had heeded the FF Plus’s numerous requests in this regard.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald – FF Plus