Senekal businessman back in court for violent protest

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A 51-year-old businessman will hear the outcome of his bail application in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on charges related to a violent protest last week.

He faces charges of attempted murder, malicious damage to property, and public violence.

Last Tuesday, a group of farmers stormed the court building demanding that two suspects charged with the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner be handed over to them.

The violent protests followed the brief court appearance of Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa who are accused of Horner’s murder.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) wants to add more charges. Free State NPA spokesperson Phaladi Shuping explains, “We are contemplating charging him with terrorism because there are allegations of damage to property which is court building and a police vehicle. We regard those allegations as an attack against the state; hence the charges should add terrorism.”

Farmers in the Free State are calling for the return of the death penalty following the murder of Horner:

‘Unite against crime’

In his weekly letter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to unite in their fight against crime. He cited protests and vigilantism in Senekal as well as the shooting of three young men in a car in Delft in the Western Cape in the same week.

He said citizens should not be blinded by their own prejudices to the suffering and pain of others, adding that it doesn’t matter whether the victim is black or white.

Ministers Bheki Cele for Police and Ayanda Dlodlo for State Security are expected to visit the family of the slain farm manager, Brendin Horner in Paul Roux in the Free State on Tuesday.

The ministers will also meet with various organised farming structures in an attempt to quell tensions in the area.