Agri SA urges Senekal community to respect the law

A police vehicle was set alight during the protest by farmers in Senekal.

Agri SA has urged farmers and the community to act within the confines of the law if they decide to attend the court case of two murder accused in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The call follows threats of more chaos by the farming community should Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa be granted bail.

The two are accused of the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner.

They were arrested two weeks ago after Horner’s body was found tied to a pole on the De Rots farm.

Agri SA Executive Director Christo van der Rheede says the rule of the law must be respected.

“Agri SA is really concerned about high levels of crime in the country. We understand the frustrations and anger of our people because many of us have been direct victims of crime in this country, but we must respect the law. We cannot take the law into our own hands. We need to give the necessary respect or give the necessary room to the Bradin Horner family,” adds Van der Rheede.

Meanwhile, there has been a range of mixed reactions to the violence which broke out in Senekal following Horner’s murder.

Deputy CEO of Civil Rights Organisation AfriForum says although violence is regrettable and cannot be condoned, the community’s anger is understandable.

Police have been criticised for what was deemed ‘their perceived lack of action’ to quell the protests.

On the other hand, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) commended the police’s handling of the protests, after the crowd dispersed when police fired a warning shot.

Roets further expressed concern over the possibility of escalating protests should government not urgently address the issue of farm attacks.

The Senekal Safety Association says while violence cannot be condoned, government leaders should also refrain from chanting slogans that may incite racial hatred during protests.