April 17, 2024

SAPS Fail to Act as Protesters Hold Town Hostage

On Monday 14 August 2023, Agri Eastern Cape was made aware of Protesters starting to block off roads in and around the Adelaide and Post Retief communities in the Amathole District.

The protesters are allegedly unhappy that a private security firm has been employed in the area to assist the agricultural sector with the rampant cases of stock theft that have been occurring throughout the district.

On Tuesday 15 August, the Agri Eastern Cape Chairman of Rural Safety, Coert Jordaan, circulated a letter to all Agri Eastern Cape members, informing them that the Organisation was aware of the protest action taking place in Adelaide and Post Retief. Mr Jordaan further urged the members of Agri Eastern Cape to remain calm during this process and to to trust that the authorities would handle the situation in an appropriate manner. This issue remains a concern between the local residents and the Security Provider, and the members of Agri Eastern Cape should not become personally involved and remain safe and clear of any conflict.

This was done with the idea that the SAPS and local authorities would handle the situation in a manner that protects the law abiding citizens on this Country. Sadly that has not been the case.

Mr Jordaan has been in contact with General Xakavu, the District SAPS Commissioner, as well as Captain Majekiso, the Adelaide SAPS Station Commander. Both of whom has insisted that the SAPS will uphold the law during this protest and ensure that no innocent members of the community will be harmed.

While additional SAPS and POPS resources have been deployed to the area, the farming communities are still being hostage within their community as the roads leading to these farming areas continue to be blocked and barricaded 6 days into the protesting in Adelaide with little to no consequences for those who are breaking the law.

while every citizen has the right to protest, you do not have the right to close public roads or prevent other citizens from moving freely from one area to another. These are criminal acts and the perpetrators should be brought to justice!

While the SAPS are requesting those who witness criminal acts to come forward and open cases and make statements under oath to support their actions, this is also seen as a delay tactic. The SAPS Members should and must also open cases for criminal activity committed in their presence. This is a heightened situation and with the correct level of visibility and patrolling, no road should be closed or blocked by protesters, and any individual seen to be doing so should be immediately arrested by the SAPS on scene.

Mr Jordaan has called on the leadership of the SAPS to act swiftly and decisively in this matter as it is only a matter of time before this situation escalates further and someone is hurt in the process.

Safety and Security is a basic right according to the Constitution of South Africa, and it is the duty of the SAPS to ensure that all citizens of this Country have access to this basic right.

The Farmers of the Eastern Cape and Agri Eastern Cape members have the right to conduct their business and everyday life in a peaceful and safe environment. If the SAPS are not willing or capable to ensure this happens, then it is also the right of these individuals to employ the services of the Private Security Industry to ensure this happens.

In the last 7 days Agri Eastern Cape has received 15 reports of Protesting in the Eastern Cape.

Agri Eastern Cape is now demanding swift and decisive action from the SAPS and to uphold the laws they have sworn to protect!