DURBAN, JULY 29 – Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza said on Wednesday night that the arrest of three suspects alleged to be involved in a triple murder on a farm in Magogong, outside Hartwater in the Northern Cape, would send a strong message to criminals.
She said the arrests would “bring confidence to our justice system and send a strong message to criminals that there is no place for criminal activities in our country.”
Didiza said she condemned the murders, which she had learned of “with shock”.
Husband and wife Danie Brand, 83, and Breggie, 73, and their daughter Elzabie, 54, – who had been visiting her parents on the farm – had been missing since Sunday. Their bodies were found on Tuesday.
Didiza applauded the swift response by the South African Police Service for the arrests.
“On behalf of the agricultural sector I wish to convey our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the victims,” said the minister.
She called on stakeholders in the sector “to remain alert and vigilant against farm attacks and killings as they negatively affect food security and food production”.
South Africa has seen a surge in farm attacks since the start of its coronavirus lockdown, with opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) having accused the ANC-led government of denial when it comes to issues of rural safety.
The kidnapping and murder of the Brand couple and their daughter caused outrage on social media, as did president Cyril Ramaphosa and the governing party’s apparently lackadaisical attitude to continued attacks of the country’s farmers and farm workers.
– African News Agency (ANA)