Verkeerdevlei farmers: Opod must investigate


In light of the recent arrest of three farmers from Verkeerdevlei, the DA has written to the Free State head of the independent police investigation directorate (Opod) and requested that he investigate “alleged abuse of power, excessive use of force, intimidation and misuse of resources”.

The writing follows after the Free State sisters Janné Smith (28) and Lize-Mari Smith (35), as well as Hendrik Steyn (56), were arrested last Monday in the early hours of the morning after they allegedly tried to steal cattle on the Smith sisters’ farm occurred.

RNews earlier reported that around 30 members of the Hawks and police burst into the Smith sisters’ house heavily armed on the morning in question and arrested the women. The raid was apparently carried out without a warrant and the women were held for hours in the bitter cold without warm clothes in the back of a van.

This after shortly before they carried out a civil arrest on the occupants of a suspect vehicle who were suspected of livestock theft, while they were waiting for the police.

Roy Jankielsohn, DA leader in the Free State, says rural crime, including livestock theft, remains a serious concern in the Free State, costing this province’s agricultural sector around one billion rand per year in losses.

“The SAPS often cite a lack of staff and vehicles as a reason why they cannot fight rural crimes, many of which take place on farms against farmers and their employees.

“The sudden appearance of large numbers of police vehicles and personnel to arrest two women in Verkeerdvlei raises the question of whether the South African Police Service (SAPD) have become instruments of the EFF’s racial campaign against white farmers,” says Jankielsohn.

Read all of RNews’s previous reports about the Verkeerdevlei farmers’ arrest here.