Senekal court shooting: Farmers and police blame each other

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Tense scenes outside court.
Tense scenes outside court.
Supplied, Chris Van Beljon
  • Police and farmers blamed each other for two gunshots that were fired at the Senekal Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning. 
  • An estimated 100 people stormed the court where two men were appearing for the murder of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.
  • An eyewitness told News24 that police were responsible for the gunshots. 

It remains unclear who was responsible for the firing of two gunshots at the Senekal Magistrate's court on Tuesday, with both farmers and police blaming each other. 

An estimated 100 people stormed the Senekal Magistrate's Court after the appearance of Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, 44, who are accused of the murder of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.

During the altercation, the gunshots were fired, court property damaged, and a police vehicle overturned and set alight. 

In a statement shortly after the incident, Free State police said: "Two shots were fired from this group, but no one was injured." 

However, Boere Droogtehulp founder Chris Van Beljon, who was at the scene, said it was definitely the police who were responsible for the gunshots. 

"No, it was definitely the police. No farmer shot anything, I can assure you," Van Beljon told News24 in Afrikaans. 

Two eyewitnesses, who wished to remain anonymous, also said it was the police who was responsible for the gunshots. 

In a video widely circulated on social media, it can be seen how a grouping of farmers made their way down a corridor in the court building and then two gunshots can then be heard. 

"Skiet terug (Shoot back); Skiet terug (Shoot back)," the farmers can be heard shouting at each other, before making their way down the corridor.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Ndileka Cola told News24 the directorate would decide whether to investigate a case of police misconduct in this regard. 

This is a developing story. 

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