Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza shocked at brutal murder of young farmer, Newsline

PRETORIA – Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has expressed shock at the brutal killing this week of a young Free State farmer and condemned “this senseless killing with the contempt it deserves”.

“I urge law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their investigation and arrest of the culprits,” Didiza said in a statement on Saturday.

Brendin Horner, 21, was attacked by an unknown number of assailants and brutally murdered on a farm in the Paul Roux area near Bethlehem on Thursday.

“I can’t over emphasise the role played by both the farmers and farm workers in the food production value chain and their killing has a devastating effect on our sector,” Didiza said.

She offered her deepest and heartfelt condolences to Horner’s family, friends, and colleagues.

In a separate statement on Saturday, Democratic Alliance leader of the official opposition in the Free State legislature Roy Jankielsohn said Horner’s murder had deeply shocked the community.

“The DA would like to express its sincere condolences to Brendin’s family and friends. It is heartbreaking that the senseless violence on farms and plots claimed a young man, who still had his life before him,” he said.

The violence against farmers, farm workers, and other farm dwellers was a priority for the DA. The party has developed an alternative rural security strategy that was at the heart of all interaction with government on the matter.

Among other things, the DA in the legislature had a private member’s bill, the Community Policing Bill, currently under discussion in the legislature. The bill would contribute to better oversight of policing by the Free State legislature and provide an opportunity for farm patrols to register and receive state resources.

“Our farmers and their employees are national assets that bring about our country’s food security. Our country cannot afford to lose our farmers in this low-intensity war, especially rare young farmers,” Jankielsohn said.

– African News Agency (ANA)