Following a nationwide protest against farm murders on Saturday, there’s been a double homicide on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal.
Glen and Vida Rafferty were gunned down in Normandien on Saturday evening.
Unknown attackers shot the farm owner, 63, and his wife, both 60, as well as their dog, according to police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
Police attended the murder scene at around 06:00 on Sunday.
Newcastle Mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba described the attack as a “gruesome atrocity” and called for the speedy arrest of the killers, News24 reported.
KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told eNCA suspects ransacked the house before making off with their vehicle, which has since been recovered.
The Democratic Alliance has urged KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and his government to take rural and farm safety more seriously following the double murder.
“The DA in KwaZulu-Natal is dismayed and horrified by reports of a double murder on a farm murder near Normandien in the Battlefields area of the province”, KwaZulu-Natal DA MPL and spokesperson on agriculture Chris Pappas said in a statement on Sunday.
“Sadly, South Africans have become all too accustomed to the ANC-led government paying lip service when it comes to many of the challenges that our people face. Certainly, rural safety is one of these issues and our communities are increasingly being forced to take their safety into their own hands. This, while ANC leaders fight over Covid-19 tenders and jostle for power in an organisation that has repeatedly admitted that South Africans are not their priority,” Pappas said.
This latest murder came just two days after the province’s agriculture and rural development portfolio committee should have met to make recommendations and resolutions on issues affecting the safety of farmers, farm workers, and rural communities. Unfortunately, the meeting was postponed in what had become a drawn out process that started in January 2020, Pappas said.
On the table for discussion were important recommendations made by the DA and supported by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province.
– declaring farm attacks/murders hate crimes or priority crimes due to their brutal nature;
– establishing an inter-ministerial task team to report to the premier on rural safety;
– calling a rural safety summit where experts could advise government on practical steps to make rural areas safer;
– directly subsidising farm patrols, farm watches, and private security initiatives; and
– making better use of technology such as licence plate recognition, drones, and CCTV in the fight against crime.
Sources: ANA, enca, News24