Cele condemns 'lawlessness' outside Senekal court, calls for protesters to be arrested

  • Bheki Cele has condemned the violence outside a Free State court on Tuesday.
  • He called for protesters to be arrested.
  • The protests flared up after a young farm manager was killed.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has labelled the actions of protesters outside the Senekal Magistrate's Court on Tuesday as "lawlessness", and called for those found to have taken part to be arrested.

This after demonstrators allegedly torched a police vehicle and stormed the court's holding cell, where two men, accused of murdering a young farm manager, are being kept.

On Tuesday, Cele said the police had to use tear gas to disperse the "violent" group. 

READ | Police van torched as armed farmers 'storm holding cells of Brendin Horner murder accused'

"This type of lawlessness can't be justified nor taken lightly," he added.

"There is no logic when these protesters burn a police van, which is the same resource that is meant to assist them. It is also baffling why the anger of this community is being directed towards the police, when arrests have been made by the police and the suspects are before the courts."

Protesters try to push a nyala police vehicle outside court as tensions flared.
Mlungisi Louw

Cele said while the right to peaceful protest was part of any democratic society and enshrined in the country's Constitution, it came with responsibilities.

READ | Bheki Cele condemns 'lawlessness' outside Senekal court

News24 earlier reported it remained unclear who was responsible for firing two gunshots during the altercation at the court.

Boere Droogtehulp founder Chris van Beljon, who was at the scene, said the shots were fired by the police. 

"No, it was definitely the police. No farmer shot anything, I can assure you," Van Beljon added. 

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Ndileka Cola said it would decide whether to investigate a case of police misconduct, News24 reported.

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