Tuesday, 11 July 2006

'State is breaking its promise to protect us'

Hanti Otto

July 10 2006 at 08:42PM

The government is breaking its promise to protect citizens' constitutional rights, including their right to freedom and security.

This is the belief of the Cullinan farming community, left reeling after a spate of cruel and violent attacks.

Victims of four separate incidents are claiming more than R200 000 in compensation from President Thabo Mbeki and the Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula for losses due to crime.

Louis Meintjes, chairperson of the Cullinan District Farmers' Union, which co-ordinates the claims, said: "The State is responsible for the safety of its citizens. If a service is not delivered, a client can withhold payment. Can we withhold our tax money until the State protects us?"

Ronel Cronje is claiming R15 000 a month from Mbeki. Her husband was killed by robbers recently. Her letter states that he was the breadwinner and that the amount claimed is to maintain the standard of living the family had before his murder.

Andries Pretorius and the two people who were attacked with him are claiming R78 155,88 for their losses.

A third claimant, George Lourens, wants R16 970 for the loss of a bakkie and equipment, while the fourth, Henry Chapman, is claiming R105 455 to replace stolen equipment.

"This is a new struggle for freedom... a struggle for a crime-free South Africa," the letters state.

The claims, instituted two months ago, have not been acknowledged by the recipients yet, the victims say.

This article was originally published on page 10 of Pretoria News on July 10, 2006


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