SENEKAL. — Following scenes of chaos that unfolded at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Tuesday in which a group of protesting farmers attempted to attack two suspected killers of young Free State farmer Brendin Horner in their holding cells, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have blasted the South African Police Service (SAPS) for standing idly by as the protesters rioted, destroying a police vehicle in the process.
SAPS confirmed that there were shots fired during their attempts to get the crowds back under control, but the EFF have condemned the incident as a demonstration of South Africa’s preferential treatment of white people, especially in the context of violent protest.
They have called for the arrest of “each and every white person” involved in today’s violence, and an investigation into the passive response of officers.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening – shortly after leader Julius Malema slated the chaotic scenes that unfolded in a post on Twitter – the EFF said that the “pathetic cowardice” of SAPS officers outside the court was indicative of a skewed racial tolerance, in which black people who engage in protest are met with rubber bullets and teargas, and white people who act in the same way are allowed to do so with impunity
The EFF cited the police response to the protesting miners who were fired at with live ammunition at Marikana in 2012, as well as the students at various universities around the country who fought for the FeesMustFall movement and faced similarly aggressive reaction from authorities.
“It is a strong affirmation that truly it is the black skin that is welcoming violence and disrespect. It confirms that it is the black skin that is automatically the skin of criminals,” they said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on police officers at Senekal in the Free State to arrest those responsible for the chaos that erupted outside the local Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
The Minister says storming the court building and destroying police property will not be tolerated.
Cele also questioned the motives of the protesters who turned their anger towards the police.
Emotions ran high outside the court building where hundreds of farmers and community members gathered to demand justice for 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner who was brutally murdered on a farm in Paul Roux last week.
The minister did not only condemn Horner’s brutal murder but also the unlawful actions of the protesters seeking access to the two suspects arrested in connection with his killing.
The 32-year-old Sekwetje Mahlamba and 44-year-old Sekola Matlaletsa, appeared briefly in court on Tuesday where the matter was postponed to the 16th of October. — News24.