Quick-thinking police officers in Fouriesburg, Free State are being hailed as heroes after they successfully prevented a farm attack in a remote area of the community.
It’s understood that a group of five assailants were planning an armed robbery at a nearby property, before they were captured by the cops. They found the group near a farm, and managed to haul them aside and conduct a stop and search. The officers found a bevy of weapons and ammunition.
#sapsFS Swift police action upon intell resulted in 5 suspects being arrested on 12/06 near a #farm during a stop & search near Fouriesburg. Rifle, firearm & ammo recovered. Charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms & ammo. #RuralSafety ME pic.twitter.com/owwo2hQhOT
— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) June 13, 2019
Free State farm attack foiled
The actions of local law enforcement likely saved some rural residents from a torturous ordeal. The gang have since all appeared in court and charged for their part in the plot. Roy Jankielsohn is one of the DA’s top representatives in Free State, and he saluted the alert officers for their sharp reactions:
“The DA would like to congratulate the SAPS on their swift action that allegedly prevented what could’ve been another tragic farm attack in Fouriesburg. All indications show the suspects were planning to carry out an attack on farm dwellers.”
“The action by the SAPS with the support of local safety structures supports the importance of intelligence in preventing such attacks. This specific incident proves that intelligence combined with the rural safety unit, as proposed by the DA, would’ve been of huge significance.”
Fouriesburg police officers praised
Farm attacks and subsequent murders came into sharp focus last week when a prominent landowner in Stellenbosch was gunned down at his estate. Stefan Smit’s murder led to an immediate reaction from the provincial government, who have stepped up their plans to establish a rural safety unit in the region. They include:
- Engaging local business shareholders – including AgriSA – on how farmers can receive greater protection.
- Petitioning against bail for those suspected of committing farm attacks.
- Establishing a Rural Safety Priority Inter-Ministerial Committee by July 2019.
- Placing rural safety at the top of the agenda of all future Provincial Joints Safety Meetings.