October 11 2006 at 02:32PM
Mpumalanga police fear an increase in farm killings in the province, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Last week, three separate farm attacks were reported near Malelane, Lydenburg and Barberton in which a farm worker was shot, a family was robbed and another woman seriously wounded with her
own gun after she surprised robbers.
Mpumalanga serious and violent crimes unit Captain Ockie Brits said he was "worried about crime and public safety" if his unit closed down.
"These people [serious criminals] can't wait for the closure of this unit," he said.
The nationwide restructuring of moving specialised units to station level came after police management said it would lead to a decrease in crime.
Brits added that "never in its life" would restructuring curb crime in the area.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance on Wednesday called for SAPS to introduce rural commandos into the area to curb the increase in crime.
DA's Mpumalanga spokesperson Armiston Watson said that recent farm attacks supported the warning by police that these types of crimes would increase.
He said the attacks also proved "that the disbanding of the rural commandos [announced by government in 2003] was an irresponsible political move which now leaves all farmers and farm workers defenceless and easy targets for criminals."
Watson added that something should be done to stop the "crime wave and to protect all farm dwellers". - Sapa