AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets says although violence in Senekal in the Free State is regrettable and cannot be condoned, the community’s anger is understandable. On Tuesday, a group of farmers stormed the local magistrate’s court where two men appeared briefly in connection with the murder of farm manager, Brendin Horner.

Two suspects appear in court for murder of a Free State farm manager: 

Preliminary reports indicate that a police vehicle was torched, court property damaged and gunshots fired during the incident.

Police were criticised for what was deemed ‘their perceived lack of action’ to quell the protests.

Roets has expressed concern over the possibility of escalating protests if government does not urgently address the issue of farm attacks.

“We are, however, concerned that this is the type of thing that is probably going to happen again if the violence and the murders and the tortures continue and the state president continues denying the problem or downplaying the problem and the minister of police continues saying that this should not be a priority for the police. This is the consequence of people losing faith in government and losing faith in the police to deal with this problem.”

AfriForum’s Ernst Roets reacts to Senekal violence:

Lamola condemns violence 

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola on Wednesday condemned the violent protest by farmers in Senekal.

He called on law enforcement authorities to ensure that those responsible are brought to book.

“The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola condemns in the strongest possible terms the anarchic violence by protesters at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Tuesday. The disturbing scenes of members of the public storming a court and damaging public property have no place in a free democratic South Africa. Yesterday’s actions are an inexcusable assault on the rule of law and criminal justice system,” said the minister’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.

Minister Ronald Lamola condemns violent protest by farmers in Senekal:

Free State Agriculture Department critisises Roets’s comments

The Free State Agriculture Department has criticised Roets’s comments on the violence that broke out in Senekal. The department says Roests’ comments are misguided. It has condemned the killing of farmers and the abuse of farmworkers.