Agri SA calls for calm in Piet Retief

Agri SA has learnt about the tragic incident in Piet Retief during which the two brothers, Zenzele and Amos Coka, succumbed to shooting wounds and farmers and workers sustained serious injuries during a scuffle that broke out.

Our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased brothers. We also wish those who sustained serious injuries a speedy recovery.

 It is Agri SA’s viewpoint that violence of any form will not resolve any issue. In fact, violence begets violence and can therefore never be condoned.

 Agri SA stands firm on its commitment to ensuring an agricultural environment premised on the values and ideals as enshrined in our National Constitution.

 As a representative body of the agricultural sector, we place huge emphasis on the human dignity and safety of all South Africans to be upheld, promoted, protected and honoured at all times.

 In view of the said commitment, Agri SA is appealing to the Deputy president to engage with the political, traditional and community leadership in the Piet Retief area to launch a collective effort in collaboration with the agricultural and rural communities in Piet Retief to calm emotions.

 Also, to allow the police and prosecuting authorities to do proper investigations into the fatal shooting on a farm in Mpumalanga.

 This incident and the escalating violence and intimidation witnessed outside of the court where the court proceedings took place is of great concern to the agricultural sector and the broader community.

 Urgent political intervention is required to restore calm and to ensure that law and order is maintained at all times.

 Agri SA in collaboration with agricultural structures on the ground is committed to take hands with the Presidency to prevent a situation where more violence and more attacks can result in prolonged retaliation, destruction of property, vandalism and mayhem.

 In order to restore calm and law and order, the agricultural sector in the region under the banner of Agri Piet Retief, the district agriculture association together with its farmers associations, Annyspruit, Commondale, Iswepe/Panbult, Klein Vrystaat, Moolman, Sulphur Springs and Wolwekop have requested their members and non-members not to attend court proceedings in Piet Retief on Monday the 26th of April 2021.

The families of the accused have also expressly asked that the public does not attend the bail application hearings as this can lead to even more violence.

 We appeal to the Deputy president to facilitate a meeting between the agricultural sector, the police, political, traditional and community leaders and other stakeholders to help de-escalate the tension and avert further vandalism and violence. The police also has a critical role to maintain law and order as well as the prosecuting authorities to investigate the fatal shooting and violence that occurred.


Christo van der Rheede Agri SA Executive Director (C) 083 380 3492