Senekal unrest: André Pienaar to undergo psychiatric assessment

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Andre Pienaar appears in the Senekal Magistrate's Court.
Andre Pienaar appears in the Senekal Magistrate's Court.
PHOTO: Alex Mitchley, News24
  • Andre Pienaar and SJ Fourie were arrested following the chaos at the Senekal Magistrate's Court.
  • Both men have been charged with attempted murder, public violence, and incitement to violence.
  • The matter has been postponed to March 2021.

The case against André Pienaar, accused of inciting violence that allegedly led to a crowd of protesters storming the Senekal Magistrate's Court on 6 October, has been postponed to 2021 for private psychiatric assessment.

During the fracas, a police vehicle was overturned and allegedly set alight. It is further alleged that protesters tried to set the holding cells alight.

Two gunshots were also fired as the protesters entered the court buildings, but there is no evidence to show who fired the shots. 

The chaos ensued in the small Free State town following the first appearance of Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, who have been charged with the murder of local farm manager Brendin Horner, whose body was found on a farm in Paul Roux on 2 October.

Pienaar and his co-accused, SJ Fourie, briefly appeared in the same court on Friday morning.

The matter was postponed to 1 March 2021 to allow for further investigation by the State, as well as to allow Pienaar to be evaluated by private psychiatrists.

Bipolar disorder

During Pienaar's bail application last month, his attorney indicated that Pienaar suffered from bipolar disorder. He is the owner of a construction business in Senekal.

The State alleges that Pienaar incited the violence and that he, Fourie, and others stormed the court buildings to get their hands on the accused, and in the process damaged court property and manhandled court staff.

Both Pienaar and Fourie, who have been charged with incitement of violence, public violence and attempted murder, told the court they intend on pleading not guilty to the charges.

READ | Senekal unrest: Second accused granted bail, claims he was there to tow damaged police vehicle

At his first court appearance, Fourie - who owns a towing service in the small town - told the court he was not involved in the chaos, but that he was there to tow the burnt police vehicle away.

Fourie was granted bail of R15 000, while Pienaar, who was originally denied bail, was released on bail of the same amount, after successfully appealing the judgment in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein.

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