Cele set to return to Senekal this week to address farmer issues

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Police minister Bheki Cele will be traveling back to Senekal in the Free State this week to keep his promise to farmers who are waiting on a government proposal to boost rural safety.

Cele’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, confirmed to Food For Mzansi that Cele will be in Senekal this Thursday, 12 November 2020, although the venue and exact time is yet to be announced. This follows the minister’s first meeting with aggrieved farmers on Tuesday, 13 October.

Free State Agriculture President Francois Wilken. Photo: Conrad Bornman
Free State Agriculture president Francois Wilken. Photo: Conrad Bornman

Meanwhile Francois Wilken, the president of Free State Agriculture (FSA), tells Food For Mzansi that they are hopeful that Cele will have a clear plan of action for problems flagged earlier by farmers in the crime-ridden areas.

He says the dossier handed to Cele during his last visit contains reports on possible police involvement in stock theft. Farmers are particularly hoping that action will be taken against implicated officials.

ALSO READ: Cele vows to rebuild trust between SAPS and Free State farmers

“We want to know what they are going to do, how they are going to do it and what their plans are going forward,” Wilken says. “We need know what drastic steps can be expected from his department to solve the spike of farm murders and stock theft.”

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Wilken further adds, “The minister knows exactly what allegations were made. All we want is for them to investigate the allegations, tell us what their findings were and what will be done about it.”

In an earlier interview with Food For Mzansi, Cele confirms that he wants to ensure that the Free State farming community’s policing concerns are adequately addressed. He promised to provide tangible solutions. Guided by police commissioner general Khehla Sitole they vowed to look at how security can be improved in the province, and to address stock theft and concerns around police involvement in some cases.

ALSO READ: Bheki Cele vows to ‘flush out’ bad apples in SAPS

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