Senekal chaos: Arrested farmer allegedly 'encouraged people to storm court, get accused' - report

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  • A farmer who delivered a rousing speech that may have led to a group of farmers storming the Senekal Magistrate's Court remains in custody.
  • Farmers and supporters were seemingly trying to gain access to two men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner, 21.
  • Horner was stabbed and found with a rope around his neck and tied to a pole in Paul Roux in the Free State.

The farmer who allegedly incited a mob of supporters to storm the Senekal Magistrate's Court on Tuesday remains in custody after his arrest. 

Netwerk24 reports that André Pienaar, a Marquard farmer, is being held in Bethlehem after he was arrested in connection with Tuesday's violence at the Senekal Magistrate's Court.

The 52-year-old is expected to face charges of malicious damage to property and public violence, News24 reported earlier.

On Tuesday, thousands of farmers descended on the small town of Senekal to protest following the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner.

The 21-year-old, who managed a farm in Paul Roux, was murdered and found with a rope around his neck and tied to a pole.

The accused, Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, were arrested and appeared briefly in court on Tuesday, when the case was postponed to 16 October.

Pienaar's attorney, Ilanie Oberholzer of N.O. Oelofse Attorneys in Senekal, reportedly said in a media statement her client was doing well under the circumstances.

André Pienaar allegedly imploring a police officer to grant farmers access to the accused.
André Pienaar, a farmer from Marquard, delivering a rousing speech in Senekal on Tuesday.

WATCH | Police van torched as farmers storm holding cells of Brendin Horner murder accused

"We will not be able to bring a bail application [on Wednesday evening] because we have to wait for the charge sheet. Investigators say it will probably only be done [on Thursday) because the investigation has not been finalised," Oberholzer said.

Pienaar delivered a rousing speech on the back of a bakkie outside the court on Tuesday and allegedly encouraged people to storm the courthouse and get the accused.

During a fracas, a police vehicle was overturned and set alight. There were also reports of damage to court property. 

A police vehicle was set alight in Senekal on Tuesday.

HOW IT UNFOLDED | Brendin Horner murder: A timeline of violence, protests and shootings

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola have both condemned the incident.

In the statement on Wednesday, police said following the violent incident at the court on Tuesday, an investigating team led by a senior officer was appointed to investigate and identify those responsible for the public violence.

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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