Free State police on the hunt for Glen farm murder suspects

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Free State police have released the names of the elderly couple that was murdered on a farm in Glen, outside Bloemfontein. They are 76-year-old Christo Morrisen and his 73-year-old wife Christa.

The couple was murdered on the Rietfontein farm on Saturday night.

Police Spokesperson Mahlomola Kareli says a concerned neighbour called officers after failing to get hold of the couple on cellphones.

Kareli says police are searching for the suspects.

Due diligence

Free State Agriculture has appealed to farmers to conduct due diligence when they employ people to work on their farms.

The organisation suggest that farmers should screen employees, know where they live and advise them not to share information about farm operations.

The organisation’s Safety and Risk Analyst Dr Jane Buys says they have picked up that information is often shared unwittingly with opportunistic criminals.

“If we look at the analysis we have done and in the past eight to nine years, about 40% of the farm murder arrests are executed by SAPS; it can be even a little bit more. But still, it is important for the farming communities also to make sure that they have people on the farms that they know they can trust. And their workers (must) also do screening and criminal record checks.”

DA calls for action

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province has blamed the increase in farm murders on what it terms “inadequate performance of African National Congress (ANC) policies on policing.”

In a statement, DA Free State premier candidate, Roy Jankielsohn says, “The most effective deterrent against crime is the assurance that the state’s criminal justice system will apprehend and prosecute criminals.”

“The centralisation of the police force under an inept central government, which manipulates law enforcement for political gain, has led to the gradual breakdown of policing in South Africa.”

VIDEO | AfriForum’s Community Safety Spokesperson, Jacques Broodryk, weighs in on the spate of farm murders in the country:

-Additional reporting by Ishmael Modiba