Coligny - Agricultural body Agri SA on Monday, slammed the violence that flared up in Coligny, in the North West, after two farmers accused of the murder of Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu were granted bail.
Three houses were torched as well as maize fields.
“These actions are condemned in the strongest possible terms, and as is in the murder case, the law must take its cause in the investigation of these criminal acts against the farming community,” said Johannes Möller, president of Agri SA.
“If the accused in the murder trail are found guilty they must face the consequences of their actions. It cannot be allowed that members of society take the law into their own hands if they are not satisfied with the proceedings of a court of law, they should also face the consequences for their criminal actions.”
He called on the police to provide the necessary protection to farmers and to do a thorough investigation of the violent crime.
“This type of violence can solve no problem and can only lead to a security catastrophe unless timely action is taken by the police and community leaders…”
A group of farmers pointed protesting residents with guns when they were walking home from court, and other group of farmers attacked journalist after a farm house was looted and torched.
Solidarity Movement said North West premier, Supra Mahumapelo, must accept responsibility for the vandalism that took place in Coligny.
“This is now a time for leadership to defuse the crisis and not to exploit the tragic death of a child to incite people by using racial slurs,” said chairperson Flip Buys.
This was after Mahumapelo told mourners on Sunday that Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu, 16, died at the hands of white Afrikaners.
Two farmers Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Phillip Schutte, 34, accused of his murder were granted R5000 bail and their case postponed to June 26.
The move angered residents who had been protesting in front of the court against the two being granted bail. They took to the street and within minutes a farm house was on fire, two more house were set alight and road blocked.
The police stood guard around a farm house in Rietvlei about 3km from town to keep youth from burning it down. The house is near the sunflower crop field where Matlhomola allegedly stole sunflower before he was caught and died after apparently falling off a moving van.
Buys said Solidarity Movement was prepared to help resolve the crisis and would be pleased to have talks with the premier Mahumapelo on the process of restoring peace in Coligny.
“The situation in Coligny is serious but there is no reason to panic. The area’s neighbourhood watch organisations are well-organised and are ready to assist the SAPS where necessary. AfriForum also sent a team to Coligny to lend support.”
The SA National Civic Organisation describe magistrate Makgaola Foso’s ruling as shocking and intend to appeal against it.
African News Agency