The African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday condemned the “cold-blooded murder” of the 78-year-old uncle of trade union Solidarity’s deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann in a farm attack.
“We call on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the perpetrators of this ghastly deed,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
“The murder of Mr [Frik] Hermann … is yet another chilling reminder that, while we are making tremendous strides in stamping out crime, there are still those in our midst who have vowed not to stop carrying out such criminal activities like farm killings.”
Mthembu called on farmers and farming communities to strengthen community policing forums and step up their work with the police to ensure that criminals “have no place to hide in society and are hunted wherever they are”.
“The death of Mr Hermann has robbed the country of someone who has dedicated most of his life to farming, so crucial in the economic growth and food security in the country,” said Mthembu.
He expressed the party’s heartfelt condolences to the Hermann family.
Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto confirmed that the body of Frik Hermann was found on his farm near Alma in Limpopo, Beeld reported on Tuesday.
He was found by a friend with his hands tied behind his back. He had been dead for a few days.
Dirk Hermann told the Afrikaans daily newspaper that his uncle had lived alone on his farm.
“My uncle’s number is 1647 — he is the 1647th farmer to be killed [since 1991, according the Transvaal Agriculture Union’s statistics].
“There won’t be any marches in the streets, he is just another number — the number before 1648. That makes me furious,” said Hermann.
The Solidarity trade union last year launched an anti-crime campaign and delivered 16 000 letters to President Jacob Zuma ahead of his State of the Nation address, appealing to him to take action against sky-high crime rates. — Sapa