Tensions remain high in Senekal as the two murder-accused for the death of 21-year old farm manager Brendin Horner makes their second court appearance.
Protestors, political parties, and farming organisations have made their way to the Senekal Magistrate’s Court to protest.
Horner’s murder sparked outrage among the farming community resulting in a small group of protestors storming the court building during the accused first appearance. In an attempt to have the suspects handed over to the farmers, shots were fired, a police van was overturned and set alight, as well as damage to court property.
While the murder incensed the farming communities, the unrest angered the likes of the EFF and the ANC Youth League. For their part, the EFF claims to be on the ground in defense of democracy. The party said it is not seeking to defend the suspects in the murder of Horner, but to ensure the authority of the state is not undermined.
The South African Police Service has deployed additional man-power with several vehicles being stopped and searched. The SABC earlier reported that a local EFF leader had his weapon confiscated.
Speaking to Radio 786’s morning breakfast show, EFF MP and deployee of the party to the Free State, Nazier Paulsen said “we will not allow any white person to undermine this democracy”.
The tensions are further exacerbated by a fringe grouping of white farmers seeking to form self-styled defense squads while others are invoking racially infused campaigns to re-establish a ‘boer republic’.
AfriForum said their attendance was to protest against farm murders. CEO, Kallie Kriel said they wish not to get entangled in confrontations with the EFF.
eNCA reported in the lead-up to today’s appearance the existence of self-styled military training camps around the country. The Afrikaner white camps are reportedly being supported and militarized by former Israeli Defense Force militias. The presence of the former occupation army members has seen the South African State Security Agency move to signal their concern and vowed to investigate the matter.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called for calm.
“The commission insists that the heightened tensions based on race and social status are of no benefit to the social cohesion that South Africa’s peace and stability are dependent on.
“The push for confrontation with the potential for violence, damage to property and even threats to lives accentuates polarisation, which is contrary to fostering South Africa as a constitutional democracy where all are free, equal and are treated with dignity,” the commission said.