WRAP | EFF, farmers lock horns in another day of chaos in Senekal, as bail postponed in Horner case

EFF members protest in Senekal.
EFF members protest in Senekal.
Pieter Du Toit
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16 Oct 2020

The Senekal Magistrates Court was once again the scene on tense protests on Friday as the EFF and groups of farmers gathered for the bail hearing of two men who have been charged with the murder of Free State farm manager Brendin Horner.

The bail application of the two men has been postponed to 20 October.

There was a stand-off between the farmers and the EFF before the suspects appeared in court. The EFF went to protest in Senekal following a violent protest by farmers during the suspects’ first appearance.

Police said one person was arrested for carrying an unlicensed firearm, while others who were armed were turned back.

Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Nelson Mandela Foundation appealed for calm in the Free State town.

16 Oct 2020

Nelson Mandela Foundation calls for Radical Non-Violence

The events unfolding in Senekal speak to the imperative for a radical practice of non-violence to become embedded in the national consciousness. 

The rage we see manifesting in Senekal is rooted in  South Africa’s history and in its woundedness, and we have to contemplate the harsh reality that there will be more pain and more trauma as already desperate lives become more desperate as the full impact of Covid-19 plays out in the years ahead.

Already the spectres of nativism, populism, nationalism and xenophobia are haunting our society. It is time to be asking what kind of future we are making for our children and grandchildren.

Over the last two years the Nelson Mandela Foundation has been involved in litigation around hate speech, precisely because we believe that it is one small step from a language of violence to the use of violence against human bodies.

The rage in our society is understandable, but it is precisely now, when too many voices are flirting with violence, that we must choose the course of non-violence. In a Foundation dialogue yesterday, historian Jacob Dlamini warned that “violence always assumes a life of its own; in that sense it’s a lot like fire.”

Too easily it becomes an end in itself, often with terrible unintended consequences. South Africa still carries the damage of what happened in the last decade of the apartheid era. It is imperative that we learn from our history. In this moment we need leadership. We need leaders who will step up; who will not dismiss the anger felt by ‘ the other side’; and who will find empathy for the pain of those they disagree with.

We need leaders who will resist the temptation to exploit situations and people, but instead will reach for what Madiba named in 2004 when he said: “Human beings will always be able to find arguments for confrontation and no compromise. We humans are, however, the beings capable of reason, compassion and change.”

Senekal will only have a future worth being part of if all its communities find a common purpose. “Our society needs transformation, and it needs peace,” said Foundation Chief Executive Sello Hatang.

“It is time for us to be making both simultaneously. It is time for radical non-violent interventions.”

16 Oct 2020

EFF leader Julius Malema is addressing supporters in Senekal. In a wide-ranging speech Malema spoke of the day’s events, touching on racism, white South Africans position in society and the need among black South Africans to own land.

Malema’s speech, forceful and inciting even for his standards, also referred to the “enslavement” of farm workers, and denied that farm attacks take place.

He added that the party was not here in support of the two men accused of murdering local farm manager Brendin Horner (21) and said criminals and murderers “should rot in jail”. — Pieter du Toit.

16 Oct 2020

FF Plus lodges complaint with HRC against Malema and EFF supporters for singing “Kill the Boer” in Senekal

The FF Plus strongly condemns EFF supporters singing the “Kill the Boer” song today in Senekal and lodged a complaint against the relevant supporters and Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). 

This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. Farm murders are a reality and it is this kind of incitement and irresponsible statements that are without a doubt playing a significant role in farm attacks and murders.

In 2003, the FF Plus was successful in its effort as the HRC declared that singing the song amounts to hate speech. Julius Malema must be held personally liable because he is openly advocating hate and violence. Before today's court case in Senekal, he even condoned the notion of a civil war.

This incitement stirs up supporters and makes them behave recklessly, as was the case with the countrywide Clicks protests.

Julius Malema is not above the law and it is time for action to be taken against him in the interest of all the people in the country.

Media release by: Dr Pieter GroenewaldFF Plus leader

16 Oct 2020

Senekal: One arrested for carrying unlicensed firearm, but 'no truth' to trunk carrying guns

Cele said there were about 300 ANC Youth League members, 2 500 EFF members and around 500 to 600 farmers. He said roadblocks to the town had started from Thursday and continued as early as 04:00 on Friday where search operations took place and several people were arrested. 

One person was arrested for carrying an unlicensed firearm, while others who were armed were turned back. 

Cele, who was joined by Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo, said they were expecting a positive bail verdict as they returned to court following the lunchbreak.


16 Oct 2020

Brendin Horner suspects 'boasted about assaulting white man on farm'

Another witness told the State that he saw both accused at a tavern in Paul Roux in the late afternoon on 2 October. 

The witness said that Mahlamba boasted about assaulting a white man on a farm. Another witness is said to have spoken to Matlaletsa who allegedly boasted about the same attack and gave details of the assault. 

The details matched the attack on Horner which led police to arrest both accused. Matlaletsa, who applied for bail via an affidavit read out by his legal aid attorney, told the court that he would be pleading not guilting and chose his right to remain silent on the merits of the case. 


16 Oct 2020

EFF support has dwindled significantly in the blistering hot Senekal sun as Julius Malema, the party’s leader, remains out of sight.

Malema is attending the court appearance of two men accused of murdering Brendin Horner (21), a farm manager in the Paul Roux district.

Many EFF supporters have been waiting eight hours or more to hear Malema speak. He appeared on stage briefly earlier, urging his supporters to disperse and go and “check out our town”. He is expected to address supporters once court proceedings conclude.

16 Oct 2020

FIRST TAKE | Julius Malema and his EFF supporters are in Senekal for one thing: to wreak havoc

Julius Malema and his supporters are in Senekal with one goal in mind: to create as much havoc as possible and to stoke racial fires as much as they can.

<p><strong>FIRST TAKE | Julius Malema and his EFF supporters are in Senekal for one thing: to wreak havoc</strong></p><p>Julius Malema and his supporters are in Senekal with one goal in mind: to create as much havoc as possible and to stoke racial fires as much as they can.</p>

16 Oct 2020

'We don't want a war, but what should we do, run away?' - supporters of farmers heading into Senekal

Supporters of Senekal farmers on Friday morning gathered on the outskirts of the town – some making rousing speeches and others praying and singing hymns.

Along with other groups such as the EFF and AfriForum, they descended on the Free State town ahead of the bail application of Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, 44, who are accused of murdering 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner near Paul Roux on 1 October.

"Malema said if a war broke out, so be it. We don't want a war, but what should we do, run away? We aren't cowards. We are here to show who and what we are," one supporter told a crowd just outside the small town.


16 Oct 2020

Why it's time for an agriculture sector Codesa: Six questions with NAFU's Motsepe Matlala

The issue of farm security was highlighted when two suspects appeared in the Senekal Magistrate's Court in connection with the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.  News24 spoke to National African Farmer's Union president, Motsepe Matlala for his views on the latest developments.

Become a News24 subscriber to get the latest opinions and analysis on the drama in Senekal. Click here and follow the easy steps.

16 Oct 2020

The murder of Brendin Horner has proven to be the perfect storm for farmers who feel unsafe, unheard and exposed, writes farmer and former AgriSA president Dan Kriek. He has three suggestions for a peaceful resolution.

What do you think the solutions are? Tell us in the comments section of Kriek's article.

16 Oct 2020

Some EFF marshals are working very, very hard to control their supporters.

16 Oct 2020

From News24 assistant editor Pieter du Toit in Senekal: Rocks have been thrown and EFF supporters are threatening violence as a group of bikers in support of farmers are trying to exit Senekal. Police are nowhere to be seen as more and more rocks are being thrown, Violence is starting to break out. People in bakkies are also trying to leave the town but the EFF is blocking exits.

16 Oct 2020

 (Pieter Du Toit, News24)
&nbsp;<em>(Pieter Du Toit, News24)</em>

16 Oct 2020

Supporters of Senekal farmers: "Malema said if a war broke out, so be it. We don't want a war, but what should we do, run away? We aren't cowards. We are here to show who and what we are.

"They then introduced a black man from East London whom they said supported their cause and wanted to confront EFF leader Julius Malema."

This man then said he was there to support the farmers.

"If Malema wants to kill you, he must start with me," he said in Afrikaans.

He then called President Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele a "slapgat" (coward), which drew cheers from the crowd.

Supporters then proceeded to sing the hymn "Die Onse Vader" (The Lord's Prayer) and was addressed by a preacher who prayed that no blood would be spilt.

16 Oct 2020

 (Pieter Du Toit, News24)
<em>&nbsp;(Pieter Du Toit, News24)</em>
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