Time to bring back rural safety commandos to tackle farm attacks?

The opposition leader in the Western Cape Cameron Dugmore on Wednesday said it was essential that government and the police focus on a united strategy "to make our rural and urban communities safe and secure for all".

His comments came in light of the recent spate of farm attacks in the province.

On Sunday, the owner of Louiesenhof wine farm in Stellenbosch, Stefan Smit, was shot and killed.

Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute of Security Studies, says previous rural safety strategies, albeit at a national level, proved successful.

In the latter part of the 90s the police compiled jointly with agriculture and the military a rural safety plan that was relatively successful.

Johan Burger, Senior researcher - Institute Of Security Studies

Burger says the success of that plan was largely down to the support of the commando system.

The commandos were well-organised within the rural communities and were formed on the basis of military structures. They were armed, well-trained and dedicated to rural safety.

Johan Burger, Senior researcher - Institute Of Security Studies

Burger says he believes a nonpolitical reinvention of the previous commando could have similar success.

I think it can be done. It just needs the necessary political will to do this once we agree this is a problem and it needs this kind of solution.

Johan Burger, Senior researcher - Institute Of Security Studies

Listen to the full interview below:


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