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25 April 2012 at 17:44 - Posted by Anonymous

Solidarity campaigns against farm attacks


File Photo - Solidarity spokesman Dirk Hermann. Photo: Nonhlanhla Kambule

A campaign has been launched to put farm attacks in the spotlight and to have them classified as a priority crime.

The initiative by trade union Solidarity, AfriForum and the Kraal-Uitgewers would run until the end of the year, the organisations said in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“It is impossible to wipe out crime, but we must at least look at creative ways of tackling farm attacks,” said Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Herman.

“Our demands are simple and could have a definite and direct impact on the way in which the problem of farm attacks is dealt with in South Africa,” he said.

The aim of the campaign was to eventually force government to declare farm attacks as a priority crime.

“In the meantime, at least 2 617 separate farm attacks in which 1 445 people were murdered are on record and still it seems that the government is not realising the seriousness of the situation,” said Dirkman.

It also aims to have specialised SA Police Service officers, who will enforce safety measures in rural areas.

“To date, nothing has come of the police's new promises made earlier this year, of the imminent release of a revised rural safety plan,” he said.

The campaign kicked off with a project which will collect stories from families which have been victims of farm attacks.

The “Tell Your Story” project will allow individuals to tell of their farm attack experiences and those stories will be published in a book later in the year.

Part of the ten-point plan is to raise local and international awareness about farm attacks.

Through that it would also focus on areas that have been severely marred by the violence on farms and encourage people to be alert.

Solidarity would also consider legal options in highlighting farm attacks. It would look into the possibility of drafting a rural protection bill. – Sapa

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