Parliament’s land reform committee chairperson Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela has condemned the “callous and inhumane” attacks on farmers…

This, after four suspects were arrested on Tuesday after the bodies of three family members were found in the Northern Cape.

The three victims – Danie Brand, 83, his wife, Breggie, 73, and their daughter, Elzabie, 54 – had been missing since Sunday. The family was attacked on a farm in Magogong, Hartswater, in the Northern Cape.

Earlier on Tuesday, a family member told News24 Elzabie had been found in a field in the Taung area, north of Hartswater.

Later on Tuesday, the family confirmed that Danie and Breggie’s bodies had also been found.

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Strong message must be sent

Mandela, in his capacity as chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, called for a strong message to be sent.

“The [suspects] must face the full might of the law and our justice system must send out a strong message that there is no place in our democracy for such callous and inhumane acts.

“We have repeatedly condemned attacks on farms and farmers as acts of gross criminality that is detrimental to the social cohesion that our young democracy needs.

“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the victims and we express our heartfelt condolences. We appeal to the SAPS to leave no stone unturned to find the missing couple and to bring the alleged perpetrators of this heinous crime to book

“We appeal to farmers, farm dwellers and rural communities to always be on the alert and to raise awareness of this troubling phenomenon and to assist in intelligence gathering that may assist in reducing the incidents of violent crime on farms.”

Kidnapping and murder condemned

Northern Cape Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development MEC Mase Manopole also condemned the kidnappings and murders.

The MEC’s office said the department was “working closely with various stakeholders in the agricultural sector, including the police, to put a stop in the killing of farmers”.

“She further reiterated the provincial government’s stance that farmers, as economic drivers of our province, will be protected at all times,” the statement read.

Letter to the President

On Tuesday DA MP, Dianne Kohler Barnard published an open letter to the President on the attacks: “Mr President, will you ignore the Brand family farm attack, too?”

“This is exactly the sort of attack the DA has been insisting the Government take seriously, despite the President claiming that no farmers are being killed in South Africa,” said Kohler Barnard.

“A month ago, we launched a 16-point plan to focus on rural attacks on farms and small holdings, which have seen the terrible murders of farmers, farm workers, their wives, parents and children, as well as visitors to farms.”

“The DA launched its #StopFarmAttacks petition websites which may be accessed here: stopplaasaanvalle.co.za or stopfarmattacks.co.za. The websites contain an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to apologize for his past denial of farm murders in South Africa and calling on him to take urgent action in response to farm attacks.”