Police minister Fikile Mbalula says police are working on an integrated crime combating strategy to ensure safety of the country’s citizens.

Mbalula says among others they’re working with the farmers and Community Policing Forums to combat crime.

Farm attacks have resulted in more than 341 attacks that led to about 70 farm murders since the beginning of the year.
This angered farmer’s country wide who took their frustrations to streets on Monday.

Mbalula says fighting crime is everyone’s responsibility.

He says among others rural safety remains a priority in the police plan to deal with farm murders.

Mbalula says farm killings remain a concern which cannot be denied.

He addressed the media in Pretoria on Friday, following talks with police commissioners, senior police officials and Community Safety MEC’s from the nine provinces.

“I am not about to turn this into a political debate and discussion; the reality of the matter is that there’s crime in the farms. And farmers are being murdered because farmers are all over… they steal and they murder the framers. So we need to respond to that question, and my task as the Minister of Police is to ensure that there’s safety for farmers –  because farmers are doing an important thing in relation to the economy. So they must be protected and I need to work with them in their own protection.”

Mbalula has emphasised that there are other contributory factors that compromise the safety of farmers. He says this need to be dealt with accordingly in order to win the battle against crime.

“There are inherently other things that we need to avoid in that work – cheap labour, exploitation, employment of unregistered foreign nationals in the farms.”

The minister also announced a delay in the release of a report by the panel of experts established following the recommendations of the Farlam Commission.

The commission investigated the killings of the striking Lonmin mine workers by the police in August 2012 in Marikana in North West.

Mbalula says the panel is yet to submit its report on the transformation of the police service.

“They asked to extend till end of November, probably consolidated and done, which will consider issues of demilitarisation.”

Mbalula says the SAPS are working on a plan to improve the role of CPF’s in assisting the police in fighting crime.

He says he’s also reviewing the policy that introduced police reservists, as it was not properly done from the beginning.

“We need to review a lot of questions and there’s frame work that need to be distributed that we are entertaining that we will adopt next year around question of reservists.”

Close to 20 000 people are murdered in South Africa every year while over 50 000 sexual offences are also reported.

Mbalula says this has put a strain on the police, and they’ve have devised a special operation plan to deal with all sort of crime during the festive season.