Carte Blanche examines the situation in Senekal as two suspects in the Brendin Horner murder case appear in court.

The nation’s eyes are fixed on the Senekal Magistrate’s Court for the Brendin Horner farm murder suspects’ second appearance on Friday (16 October) – both suspects of whom Police Minister Bheki Cele described as serial offenders and stock thieves. Last week violent scenes erupted when the suspects appeared for the first time. An angry crowd stormed the holding cells and a police vehicle was overturned and torched.

South Africa’s current affairs team, Carte Blanche, will be in the Eastern Free State town tomorrow where the family of the murdered 21-year-old farm manager and members of the farming community met with ministers in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster this week amid assurances that government would do all it could to ensure justice for Horner.

In a segment presented by Derek Watts, Carte Blanche says: “On social media, tensions have been slowly building as outlying voices on the political spectrum call for protest action. The ministers said law enforcement would be out in full force on the day.”

For its part, AfriForum says it has selected an area where its members can protest peacefully, within the framework of the law, and far from the EFF or ‘agitators’ like those which the organisation claims were planted in the crowd at Senekal last Tuesday. The organisation says on its request, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has allocated it the area next to the Kommando N5 Restaurant in Ad Keet Street, where supporters will gather at 10h00.

Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, said this will ensure that the “peaceful voice of  the majority”  is able to show their anger and displeasure with the terror on farms, without being silenced by a “small group of agitators or the EFF’s provocative actions”.

Two other areas have been allocated – one where the EFF will gather, and another for those organisations who don’t wish to adhere to AfriForum’s arrangements.

afriforum senekal protests Map of premises
Map of Friday’s protest areas.

EFF leader Julius Malema announced this week that the EFF would be in Senekal on Friday. He claims the violent protest last week was a humiliation to the police, and therefore to a black state, and the EFF will be there to protect the building. He says if going to Senekal will cause a civil war in order to exercise his constitutional war… then “so be it”. (See videos at bottom of page.)

Kriel says AfriForum supporters are going to Senekal to protest farm murders – and “definitely not” to get entangled in confrontations with the EFF.

“AfriForum has held numerous successful and peaceful protest actions against farm murders, which succeeded in placing the terror of farm attacks on the agendas of local and international communities. We cannot stop doing that now simply because radicals like the EFF want to abuse the opportunity to hold a protest march in support of farm murders,” said Kriel in a press statement on Thursday.

“We cannot stop protesting because agitators are being planted in protest actions to discredit a valid opposition to farm murders. AfriForum will therefore continue to make arrangements to ensure that those who want to discredit the fight against farm murders do not take part in AfriForum’s peaceful action.”

One of the masked instigators during last week’s protest action
One of the masked alleged instigators during last week’s protest action. Photo supplied

Flip Buys, Chairperson of the Solidarity Movement, and Dr Theo de Jager, President of the World Farmers’ Organisation and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the family farming organisation Saai, are expected to address the people at AfriForum’s gathering.

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