…By Tumelo Khotha.
FREE STATES, South Africa – The chaos between police and the farmers in Senekal, Free State yesterday resulted in the vandalism of the Senekal magistrate’s court and the building.
This happened after Sekwetje Mahlamba (32) and Sekola Matlaletsa (42) appeared briefly in connection with the murder of a farm manager, Brandon Horner (21).
Angry farmers wanted the police hand over suspects to them so they can teach them a lesson which they (police) did not yield to but instead took the suspects back in custody. This infuriated the already tensed farmers who tossed the police van and set it on fire outside magistrate’s court.
OgeneAfrican gathered that the body of Horner was discovered in the open field together with a knife and a cap of a suspect earlier this month.
One of the farmers who didn’t want his name in print for security reason, said they are not safe anymore after the latest killing of a farmer. He said their minds are always on it and this really frightens them. He pleaded with the minister of police, Bheki Cele to ensure safety of farmers.
Another farmer who spoke to our correspondent in anonymity, called on the President, Cyril Ramaphosa to do something about their safety. “We must be provided protection since we’re not safe anymore.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Free State demand the arrest of those burnt the police van.
The party’s secretary in the province, Bosanku Msimanga demanded that those behind the dastardly act be taught a lesson. Everyone has a right to life, he said.
“There’s no one whose life should be taken just like this. No one has right to destroy police service car. We’re calling on the MEC of police, the commissioner, and the minister to act diligently. All those who are involved in this crime must be held accountable”.
However, the Patriotic Front of Azania’s President, Johny Maseko has condemned the action of the angry farmers. Maseko said there must face repercussions for their actions. ” This is totally unacceptable in our country. We have police who are employed to do their jobs. Instead, thugs want to take the law in their own hands, “.
What happened yesterday is a sign that the police service has no proper training. He was referring to a large number of armed farmers who were only under the control of a few police officers. Maseko further looked back to the scene of a community rights activist from Ficksburg, Moses Tatane who was killed in the hands of the police.
The accused are expected to appear before the Senekal magistrates court again on the 16 October 2020.