The EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters), AfriForum, farming communities and various supporters, descended upon Senekal today, marching in protest as the two suspects accused of Brendin Horner’s murder, appeared in court for the second time. Tensions quickly rose outside the Magistrates’ court and police were on the scene attempting to maintain law and order the entire day.
Following the brutal murder of 21 year old Senekal farm manager Brendin Horner on 1 October 2020, and the subsequent arrest of the accused murderers Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, farmers and residents from the area stormed the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in which the accused were held, on 6 October, in violent protest, setting a police vehicle alight. Horner had allegedly been found stabbed and tied to a pole hanging by his neck. This event has sent shock-waves throughout South Africa.
Andrè Pienaar, 51 year old resident of Senekal, was accused of inciting the violence which erupted at the courthouse. He was arrested on 8 October and charged with incitement to violence, malicious damage to property and attempted murder. On Tuesday he was denied bail.
The case is progressing and details are slowly coming to light. The accused allegedly incriminated themselves as they may have bragged about the murder in a tavern on the day following the murder. The prosecutor has chosen to remain anonymous for safety concerns.
Murder, Violent Protests put Spotlight on South Africa’s Farm Murders & Policing Problems
Minister of Police Bheki Cele
Minister of Police Bheki Cele stated that one of the accused had been out on bail and had been arrested 16 times before, and added that it was “unacceptable” that this suspect was able to allegedly commit murder.
On 13 October he visited Senekal communities, including the family of Brendin Horner. He has since highlighted the severe crime problems experienced by farming communities and rural areas, stating that farmers and farm workers of all races are affected by the violent crime.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement about Brendin Horner’s murder that “His killing should anger and upset every one of us. No matter who we are, no matter what community we live in, no matter our race, creed or language, we should be as deeply affected by the death of Brendin Horner as we are by the death of many South Africans who die violent deaths every year”.
Democratic Alliance calls for unity
The DA (Democratic Alliance) criticized the ruling party for failing to recognize the scourge of farm murders until Brendin Horner’s death. DA leader John Steenhuisen called on all South Africans to unite.
EFF states the Constitution is under threat
EFF leader Julius Malema stated in an interview with Newzroom Afrika that the Constitution and Democracy is under threat by those who stormed a court of law as it is a declaration of law against the State.
South Africans are hopeful that peace will prevail if all those who committed criminal acts are prosecuted accordingly.