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

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Disparate groups of protesters in Senekal on Friday.
Disparate groups of protesters in Senekal on Friday.
PHOTO: Pieter du Toit/News24
  • Supporters of Senekal farmers gathered on the outskirts of the town on Friday morning.
  • Some made rousing speeches, while others prayed and sang hymns.
  • They said they were not there to fight, but to seek justice for murdered farm manager Brendin Horner.

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.

The gathering was broadcast by SABC News.

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 said he was there to support the farmers.

Malema 'must start with me'

"If Malema wants to kill you, he must start with me," he said in Afrikaans. He then called President Cyril Ramaphosa and Police Minister Bheki Cele "slapgat", which drew cheers from the crowd.

Supporters sang the hymn Die Onse Vader (The Lord's Prayer) and were addressed by a preacher who, bible in hand, prayed that no blood would be spilt.

The supporters seemed to be in two minds as to whether to enter the town or not.

Other protesters told eNCA that they were not there to fight, but to seek justice for Horner.

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