Shots fired, police vehicle torched as farmers protest murder of Brendin Horner

A police vehicle was set alight by angry farmers outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court. Picture: @AFRO_RSA/Twitter

A police vehicle was set alight by angry farmers outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court. Picture: @AFRO_RSA/Twitter

Published Oct 6, 2020


Violence erupted outside the Senekal Magistrate's Court where hundreds of farmers and residents had gathered in the Free State town in a show of support for the family of Brendin Horner.

The 22-year-old farm manager had been savagely beaten and his body tied to a pole on a farm near Paul Roux last Friday.

On Tuesday, as the two suspects made a brief court appearance, the angry crowd bayed for their blood and vowed to avenge Horner's murder themselves.

Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa were arrested the following day in connection with the brutal attack.

Two gunshots were fired, court property destroyed and a police vehicle overturned and set alight by the angry farmers, who believe that the government is not doing enough to protect them.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, a group of farmers stormed the court building shortly after the two suspects were remanded in custody, demanding that the men be handed over to them.

— JG (Johan) van Zyl ✍✝️ (@JGvanZyl_ZA) October 6, 2020

Makhele said that while the situation was under control for now, police have requested reinforcements to help restore calm.

A number of DA supporters attended the gathering voiced their support for the farmers before the situation turned violent. The party said that it regarded attacks on farmers and their staff as part of an ongoing "low-intensity war’’.

"Brendin Horner, who worked on a farm, paid the ultimate price for his choice of career as a young South African farmer. Crime continues to be one of the most serious security and economic threats to our farming community," the DA said.

"Crimes on farms that include murder and rape are already treated as a costly low-intensity war by the agricultural community and should be recognised as such by government."

The two suspects have been remanded in custody until their next court appearance on October 16.