tame Times Fresh Approach to local news

Tag: Farm Attacks

EFF heading to the SAHRC

The Economic Freedom Fighters in the Western Cape said it would be approaching the police and the South African Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.  This follows protests organised by Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, where there were allegedly an apartheid flag on display.  The EFF said that displaying the flag undermines the law and the injustices suffered in the past. Julius Malema’s infamous party demands that those responsible for waving the flag should be held accountable.

The party is also calling for the arrest of Ivan Meyer.  Meyer organised the protest and addressed the crowd.  Wandile Kasibe of the EFF said they would lay a formal complaint with police on Tuesday and also turn to the Human Rights Commission for justice.  “The court of this country has now outlawed the usage of such an extremely racist symbol and anyone found to be using such a symbol has committed a criminal offence.”

Meanwhile Meyer said he has not seen any apartheid era flags being flown during protests,  and added that he will not be intimidated by the EFF.  Valerie Bylefeld, one of the protest organisers, has condemned display of the flags, saying it’s not what they stand for.  “The very same person who should be arrested here is Mr Malema for inciting these murders on the farmers of South Africa.”

Farm Attacks – SA’s Food Security at Risk

Farm attacks, invasions and murders have sparked heated debate across the nation.  Cabinet has now concluded that the killings and maiming of farmers and farm workers in the country are a serious threat to the country’s food security.  The fate of South African farmers have been uncertain as many claimed that the government did not acknowledge or act against the attacks.

According to Cabinet, the endless attacks poses a threat to the greater good and health of country.  Government is fast-tracking the implementation of the revised rural safety strategy to enable police to respond appropriately to the security needs of rural communities and support socio-economic development.  “Cabinet fully supports the work of our South African police in arresting those committing heinous crime in our country which includes the killing and maiming of farmers and farmworkers throughout the country,” said Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the Presidency.

“The farming community is an integral part of our economy, and crime on farms poses a threat not only to the personal safety of farmers and farmworkers but also to the country’s food security.” Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu was briefing reporters about the outcome of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.  Cabinet called on South Africans to assist police in the fight against crime by being part of community police forums, saying people should work together to root out crime in their communities.

Senekal Protests Update

16:10 Update – The case has been postponed to 20 October 2020 for the cross-examination of the investigating officer by the defense.

15:50 Update – While results of the analysis on the blood stained clothes is still outstanding, blood samples taken from Horner’s bakkie and sent for private testing by a private investigator, revealed if was the blood of three different males, according to Captain Myburgh

15:45 Update – The only item stolen from Horner’s body, was his wallet.  A witness told police that she overheard the accused saying they took the wallet of the man they assaulted on the farm.

15:15 Update – Myburgh testifies that the bloodstained clothes seized from Mahlamba’s residence has been sent for forensic testing and analysis.

15:08 Update – The post mortem determined that Horner was strangled to death.  He also suffered stab wounds on his arms, shoulder and hands, according to Myburgh.

15:05 Update – Captain Gerhardus Myburgh is now testifying for the State in the bail application of the accused.  Captain Myburgh is on the investigating team.

14:28 – Update – The state does not intend to lead Viva Voce evidence, and will be doing so by way of evidence.  They have asked for a short postponement until 15:00

14:10 Update – It is now extremely hot in Senekal.  The EFF leadership has disappeared.

13:22 Update – Matlaletsa claims he has two previous convictions for stock theft and one for illegally buying a pig.  Through the affidavit he tells the court that he has no pending cases against him.

13:15 Update – Matlaletsa, accused no 2, says he will be pleading not guilty and will remain silent with regards to the merits of the case.  He also said he is unemployed and living of a disability grant

12:55 Update – A video was posted about an hour ago of Colonel Franz Jooste, form SADF Civil Force.  “If they want war they will get it.”

12:46 Update – The State prosecutor alledges that Mahlamba’s girlfriend refutes his assertion that he was with her the night that Brendin Horner was murdered.  She stated under oath that he did not spend the entire evening with her on October 1st 2020.

12:22 Update – The state has a witness that claims to have heard Mahlamba boasting about how he “assaulted a white man on a farm”, while they were at a tavern on the 2nd of October, late in the afternoon.

12:20 Update – The State asks Mahlamba if police recovered his bloodied trousers from the Freezer in his house.  He denies the allegation and claims that there is no deep freezer in his house.

12:13 Update – EFF supporters have burned an ANC / Ramaphosa Tshirt in Senekal.

12:10 Update – EFF supporters have gathered in front of the stage again.  They are waiting for Julius Malema to address them once the bail hearing has been concluded.

11:55 Update – Court back in session.  The state will now cross-examine Mahlamba.  The state asked about assets he may have and if he will be paying for the bail amount himself.  Note: The state prosecutor has asked the court that he not be identified or have his images taken in court, and an order to that effect was granted.

11:50 Update – Young farmer explains in Afrikaans that they simply want a peaceful protest.

11:35 – A biker has been saying praying in front of EFF supporters outside the Senekal Magistrate’s court.


11:30 Update – In court, Mahlamba claimed that he was not read his rights when arrested, and was never informed how he was linked to the murder of Brendin Horner.  He also claimed that police said they would release him.  The State will now cross-examine the accused, Mahlamba, after a short adjournment.

11:21 Update – EFF members destroy and vandalize public property.

11:12 Update – Inside the courtroom of the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.  Accused no 1 denies knowing accused no 2.  But he know where he lives

11:05 Update – The EFF wants to remove the name of Van Riebeeck Street.  Is this considered damage of state property?

11:00 Update- Reports off bricks and rocks being thrown at bikers by EFF supporters, police nowhere to be found.

10:55 Update – The first accused, Sekwetje Mahlamba has taken the stand.  He will be applying for bail via viva voce evidence.  He told the court he has a pending court case for stock theft and that he was out on bail when arrested for the murder of Brendin Horner. He coes not have a job and survives doing odd jobs, making around R1,500 a month.  He supports his girlfriend and a child.  Mahlamba said he has no previous criminal convictions and the stock theft charge is back in court in February 2021

10:45 Update – More tension between farmers and EFF

10:40 Update – The head of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) is strongly condemning the EFF

10:35 Update – It seems that tension is mounting in Senekal between the EFF and opposing protesters.

Update 10:25 – The state prosecutor opposed the media application to film proceedings and broadcast live.  The prosecutor argued that the case was at a sensitive stage and that he did not believe people should read the sensitive information on social media.  The magistrate adjourned the court and will return with a ruling on the media application for live broadcast of the case against the alleged killers of Brendin Horner

Update 10:20 – Julius Malema has now entered the court in Senekal.

Update 10:15 – After some singing of banned racist songs, EFF leaders made several short speeches denouncing farmers and Afriforum as “racist”.  The EFF crowd is moving into town now.  Malema told supporters: “This town is not called Senekal, its called Matjhabeng.”  He then told the EFF crowd to march into Senekal to see “our town”.

10:10 Update – The Farmer Protest crowd have grown in numbers.

10:05 Update – EFF leaders continue to address supporters.

09:55 Update – Areas surrounding the court has been barricaded with barbed wire fences to keep groups separated as tensions mount in Senekal.  Police have shown a strong presence in the town and helicopters and water cannons are at the ready.  A short incident between EFF members and a group called Kommandokorps were quickly resolved by police before it became violent.

The South African Sense of humour stays intact.  Several people have been tweeting: “KFC should charge double today in Senekal”, “OK FOODS could make some real profit with the EFF there today”

Bheki Cele, Minister of Police has just arrived at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.


A group of farmers are gathered on an open field in Senekal.

EFF Supporters now singing the banned racist song “Shoot to kill, Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer”


Julius Malema just arrived and will be speaking to his followers now.


How did we end up here?  Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Piet Matlaletsa, 44, murdered the 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner on the 1st of October near Paul Roux.  Brendin’s body was tied to a pole with a rope around his neck.  At the first court appearance on the 6th of October, a group of angry farmers stormed the courthouse and demanded the suspects be handed over.  A police vehicle was also overturned and set alight.  52-year-old Andre Pienaar was arrested and charged with attempted murder, malicious damage to state property, and public violence.  He was denied bail earlier this week.   The two accused are due to appear in court today for the second time.

This morning, Senekal is quiet but rather tense.  Hundreds of EFF supporters have already gathered, brandishing golf clubs, cricket bats, and knopkieries.  Elsewhere a few farmers have started to gather.  Police have been out in full force since early this morning.  Although most parties present today have undertaken to keep it quiet and peaceful, there is a tense and unsettling atmosphere in the town.



EFF gathered in front of OK FOODS.

Crime – Farmer Drenched in Petrol Escapes Death

A Free State Farmer escaped a painful death when two men attacked him and poured petrol on him.  The farmer managed to jump into his pool before any serious injuries could be sustained.

Andries Smith Myburgh was having lunch at his farmhouse when he smelled smoke.  He immediately went to investigate and was attacked by two men.  One of the attackers tried to stab him with a knife while the over poured petrol on him.  He managed to reach his firearm and fired shots at the suspects.  It is suspected that the shots fired ignited the petrol.

Police Spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said: “He went to investigate and was hit with an object on the head but managed to push the suspect away. He was allegedly attacked with a knife by a second suspect and in the process he had petrol poured on him. The victim managed to pull out his firearm and the suspects fled.

’’He fired a number of shots in their direction and while firing, realised that he was on fire. He jumped into the swimming pool,”  Brigadier Makhele explained.  Myburgh alerted the police and neighbours. “One suspect was identified as being about 2m tall, wearing green overall trousers and a light blue shirt. The other one had a blue overall suit. Both suspects are unknown to the complainant. The complainant was attended by medical personnel but had no serious injuries,” said Makhele.

With emotions already at fever pitch in the in the Free State following the murder of Brendin Horner, this attack is bound to add fuel to the fire.  Ernst Roets of Afriforum said: “People are angry and fed up with a lack of action by South African government. We’ve had President Cyril Ramaphosa going into an international forum in 2018 and when asked about farm murders, he denied that it exists. And more recently, two weeks ago, we had Minister of Police Bheki Cele saying that farm murders are something that should not be a priority for the police.”

National News – Cele Calls for More Arrests

Bheki Cele, minister of police, on Wednesday said he was hoping for more arrests following the protests outside the Senekal Courthouse earlier this week.  On Tuesday, farmers poured into the Free State town of Senekal where the two accused in the Brendin Horner murder appeared in court.   A 52-year-old farmer was arrested for his alleged involvement in torching a police vehicle.

The protesters demanded justice and eventually stormed into the courthouse.  The demanded the suspects to be handed over to them.  The Minister’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Thema, said in a statement: “Police Minister Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrest of the first suspect involved in the violent demonstrations by a group of farmers outside Senekal Magistrates Court.  Minister Cele is encouraged that a 52-year-old farmer has been arrested for his role in the alleged torching of the police vehicle.”

“Cele is calling for more arrests as it is clear the criminality that took place was a collective act that threatened the rule of law.”  The minister’s response to Tuesday’s events has sparked outrage in the community with several allegations of double standards being made.  The Senekal demonstrations was compared to the EFF Clicks demonstrations and many said that the same laws did not apply there.

The brutal murder of Brendin Horner has been met with outrage.   Tuesday’s protests saw several people carrying placards with the words “Enough is Enough”, “Remember their Names” and “Bheki Cele Must Fall”.  Meanwhile a video has been doing the rounds on social media claiming that the man’s involvement is fake news.

The two suspects will appear in court again on 16 October 2020.

National News – Violent Farmers Must Behave

Ronald Lamola, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, condemned the violence of protests in Senekal yesterday.  Lamola criticised calls of mob justice by the community.  Thousands of farmers and citizens flocked to Senekal yesterday as the two accused in the murder of Brendin Horner was due in court.  Chaos erupted outside the court when a group of farmers broke into the courthouse demanding that the suspects be handed over to the public.  In a statement Lamola said: “We urge the law enforcement authorities to ensure that the rule of law is maintained and an important part of that is to ensure that those responsible for undermining the administration of justice and the destruction of public property are brought to book.”

Minister Lamola said that the community undermined the rule of law.  “If such attacks against the rule of law are allowed to go unchecked, our society will run the risk of descending into anarchy. It is in the interest of everyone to ensure that respect for the rule of law is defended and upheld. “However strongly communities may feel about issues, we simply cannot allow individuals to take the law into their own hands,” he said.  In the protests a police vehicle was torched and shots were fired.

The reaction to the brutal murder of Brendin Horner has been one of anger and frustration.  Farmers are saying “Enough is enough”, and are demanding that the Bheki Cele must resign or be sacked immediately.  Farm attacks and murders in South Africa has been cause for concern as the numbers of deaths rise rapidly.  The brutality of the attacks have now reached the international news cycle.  Messages of support are pouring in from all over the world.  Lamola however insisted that vandalism and mob justice would not solve the problems, but rather contributed to the problem .

Breaking News – Farmers Unite for Brendin

Brendin Horner celebrated his 1-year work anniversary on the day of his murder.  Today, thousands of people are meeting outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court to greet the suspects in the murder.  Horner’s employer, Gillie Scheepers, said: “In my eyes, Brendin was a top class guy, he was amazing. He would have achieved so much working here and reached great heights. He was one of the gears that kept the clock ticking.”


have been pouring in for the young Free State farmer.   The brutal murder of Brendin Horner sparked outrage across the country and people have been arriving in Senekal since early this morning.  A poem by Johannesburg writer Stanley Cierenberg has been shared widely on Social Media.

Provincial Police Spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele told media: “Two suspects were arrested [last Saturday] in relation to the murder of Brendin Horner. The two suspects were arrested by Senekal detectives at Fateng-tse-ntsho in Paul Roux.  Bloodstained clothes and shoes were found and will be taken in for forensic tests.” Horner’s body was found tied to a pole on Friday morning with serious injuries to his head and face.  A knife was found on the scene and Horner’s Toyota Hilux bakkie was found abandoned later, with bloodstains inside.  “It is suspected that the deceased could have spotted them on that fateful day. According to reports, police received a call from other farmers reporting the attack at DeRots farm. Upon their arrival, police found Horner, who was declared dead on the scene, with injuries to his head and face. The two suspects, aged 32 and 43, will appear in Senekal Magistrate’s Court [on Tuesday] on the charge of murder.”

The brutality of farm murders and attacks have been in the media frequently with one shocking attack after another.  Rape, brutal beatings, and murder have become the norm for these attacks while the country begs the government to step in.

National News – “We will Rape You”

Nine attackers threatened to rape a Gauteng farmer’s children if he refused to cooperate and give them what they wanted.  The farmer has 4 children, aged between 6 and 18.  Paul da Cruz and his wife and four children were attacked on their Westonaria farm in Gauteng on Friday morning.  Da Cruz has stated that the attackers directly threatened his children with rape and added that he wanted his family to get into counselling as soon as possible to deal with the trauma of the attack.  Several firearms and laptops were stolen during the attack. Warrant Officer Peter Masooa, the police spokesperson, confirmed the incident.

Police minister Bheki Cele sparked outrage when he recently termed farm murders as “not a priority crime”.  Cele argued that farm attacks usually refer to incidents classified as aggravated robbery on a farm dwelling.  “The most serious of these crimes are grouped into a category and is referred to as contact crimes and include murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, assault with the intent of causing grievous bodily harm, common assault and aggravated robbery.”

The young Free State Farmer, Brendin Horner, who was killed recently

Meanwhile, the brutality of the attacks have become more and more inhumane and the agricultural sector is under strain to force the government to act against these brutal attacks.  Recently, two suspects were arrested for the brutal murder of Brendin Horner, a young Free State farmer. He was found dead in an open space in Paul Roux around 06:30 on Friday morning, tied to a pole with a rope around his neck and serious injuries to his face and head.  A knife was found near the scene.  The two suspects, aged 32 and 43, will appear in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

In another case, three men appeared in the Delmas Magistrate’s Court in connection with the murder of Chantel Kershaw, a local 44-year-old farmer.   Chantel was strangled to death before they went inside the house, where they assaulted her mother and locked a female employee in the bathroom.  They stole several belongings and fled the scene in the family’s Chevrolet bakkie.

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