Agri SA says Cele’s remark – “who do you think you are” – to Roland Collyer, a farmer from Normandy, is “derogatory and inappropriate”.
The organization says there is no justification for such outbursts of anger or contemptuous remarks. Agri SA, which was supposed to be a constructive conversation between the agricultural community and the Minister of Police, has now turned into a public uproar.
Agri SA says it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens and that anyone has the right to enter into discussions with the government about it. He says civil servants must at all times show the necessary respect and empathy – and if they do not do so, it is contrary to the Constitution.
The organization also says this kind of outburst undermines the government’s positive attitude towards farmers and workers.
Agri SA will now take up the issue with Ramaphosa so that he can intervene and help find solutions for positive cooperation and consensus. The organization says that the generalization of a single incident cannot be presented as the norm and is in fact the exception to the rule.
“Agri SA has always strived to be part of the solution and provide support where problems with rural safety are experienced,” said Tommie Esterhuise, chairman of Agri SA’s center for excellence: Rural safety.
“It is unfortunate that rural security has now degenerated into a political debate during an imbizo and has not received the necessary attention.”
Agri SA says it is the government’s duty to do its job without fear or prejudice and to show the necessary patience and tact to work with all law-abiding citizens to stop crime in the country. These duties are set out in the Constitution.
The organization emphasizes that the Constitution is the cornerstone of the country’s democracy.
“Agri SA remains committed to working with the Minister to establish a culture of mutual respect and co-operation. It is in the national interest that we join forces to fight crime of any kind – now more than ever. ”