Minister of Police Bheki Cele and a high-level government delegation are headed to the Free State towns of Senekal and Paul Roux today. Racial tensions have reached boiling point after the murder of Brendin Horner. Two suspects connected to the murder appeared in court on Tuesday last week and chaos erupted when farmers stormed the courthouse demanding the suspects be handed over to the community. Court property was damaged and a police vehicle set alight.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, members of all major political parties, and ordinary South Africans all had their say about the violent clashes in Senekal on Tuesday. Ramaphosa condemned Horner’s killing as an appalling act of cruelty saying that the recent events opened up old wounds. This morning Bheki Cele, and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo are visiting the Free State community as well as Horner’s family to offer condolences. The delegation are expected to meet with farming groups too.
The delegation has a bumpy road ahead trying to balance the concerns of angry farmers, while addressing the grievances of those that feel that the protesters acted irresponsibly and should be held accountable.
Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) and chief whip Natasha Mazzone laid a criminal complaint against Julius Malema (Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters) and MP Nazier Paulsen for inciting violence. Malema encouraged his 3.2 million Twitter followers to “attack” with a picture of a machine gun. Paulsen uploaded an image of a gun with the caption “get ready”. The Minister of Police already met with Malema to implore him to avoid further racial tension.
Bheki Cele questioned the effectiveness of the criminal justice system after it was revealed that one of the men accused of murdering Horner was arrested 16 times before. “The people we have arrested there, one of them has been arrested two times but the other one has been arrested 16 times. I would like to know why a person who has been arrested 16 times is still given another chance to commit other crime?”
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) October 10, 2020