SSA probe farmers' self-defence camps

The State Security Agency is investigating self-defence weapons training camps being organised by farmers across the country and says it’s not yet sure what their purpose is. Reporter Govan Whittles is following this story. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Ahead of what is likely to be a tense day in Senekal on Friday, the State Security Agency (SSA) is investigating self-defence weapons training camps organised by farmers across the country.

READ: Fears planned Senekal protests could end in chaos

The agency says it's not yet sure what their purpose is.

The number of these camps has spiked this year, as public awareness around farm attacks has increased.

READ: Ramaphosa: Senekal opened old wounds

But it's the involvement of a soldier from the former Israeli Defence Forces, that's caught the attention of the SSA.

Security firms like Kalah Combat are offering farmers the same self-defence and weapons training given to Israeli Defence Forces units.

Ahead of what is likely to be a very tense day in Senekal. The State Security Agency is investigating self-defence weapons training camps being organised by farmers across the country. eNCA' Govan Whittles has this exclusive report Courtesy #DStv403 #eNCA Courtesy: Kalah Combat Noord-Wes Facebook

While they appear to be militaristic, farmers say they are merely providing the security in areas where police take too long or are poorly resourced.

READ: Police arrest farmer for alleged role in violent Senekal protests

Farm Security Manage Hannes De Bruyn says, "on the farms, the farmer is alone, the farms are far away, the police can't get there quickly, so for the first few minutes, that guy is alone. The only way is to teach self-defence and do exercises."

SSA says it's still unclear to what end the farmers are being trained.

Watch the full exclusive report by eNCA's Govan Whittles above.

Source
eNCA