DA leader James Masango to visit Balfour

SET UP RURAL SAFETY UNITS: That is the call from DA Mpumalanga leader James Masango following the murder of four farmers in Balfour. PICTURE: Supplied

The provincial leader of the Democratic Alliance is concerned about the threat posed to the country’s food security following the murder of four Mpumalanga farming family members.

DA Mpumalanga leader James Masango has announced he will visit Balfour over the weekend.

Masango said his visit to Balfour this coming Sunday (19 Feb) comes after the bodies of 48-year-old Louis Smuts, his 42-year-old wife Belinda Smuts and his parents, Gert (78) and Paulina (77) were found on Modderbult farm, about 20km from Balfour on Tuesday morning.

The four had been shot dead before being robbed of their belongings.

A manhunt for the killers resulted in the swift arrest of four foreign nationals – two Nigerians and two Mozambican – who made brief a appearance in the Balfour Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.

The four were found with the family’s belongings, including a laptop.

“This incident and many others once again highlight the desperate need for rural safety units in Mpumalanga,” Masango said.

“The murder of farmers is a serious threat to our nation’s food security and without the establishment of rural safety units, farmers will continue to be discouraged from feeding the nation,” he said.

Masango will be accompanied by the party’s provincial chairwoman Jane Sithole as well as its shadow minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries Annette Steyn when he meets farmers in Balfour’s Farmer Union Hall.

“Rural safety is critically important to food security, job security, and sustainable agricultural growth.

“This industry is also critical to develop and transfer skills to our lost generation in the province,” Masango said.

(edited by ZK)

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