Four more arrested in connection with Newcastle farm murders

Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the area and held a meeting with both the farming community and farm dwellers in September after concerns were raised about the police station’s alleged shoddy service.

Police are still investigating the troubled Normandien police station outside Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal, after a local farming couple Glen and Vida Rafferty were killed in August this year.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says four people have already been arrested in connection with the killing of the Raffertys.

“In Normandien you know that more people have been arrested now. When we went there, there was one person, now four more have been arrested,” says Cele.

Cele visited the area and held a meeting with both the farming community and farm dwellers in September after concerns were raised about the police station’s alleged shoddy service.

He says, “The Commissioner has sent a team that we are talking about to go and investigate what was the problem, those results are still on the way to make sure… we are pulling together the resources of the police and the resources of the farming community there. They did say they have cameras, we will be working on that. But I think it is much better and the fact that more people have been arrested has made the community relax a little bit.”

Farm dwellers raise their concerns

A heated meeting between farm owners, dwellers, and Cele unveiled tensions within the farming community in this area. Some farm dwellers raised concerns about how they say farmers treat them.

They also accused the local police of not adequately dealing with matters reported by farm dwellers.

An emotional pensioner, Dumazile Lukhele, shared her struggles and asked Cele to intervene. “The white farmers in our area are terrorising us, all the time. There was a time when I was in a process of building my house the farmer destroyed it. In another incident, I wanted to bury my child, the farmer came with dogs and attacked us, he prevented us from burying.”