Violent scenes in Senekal during the court appearance of two suspects for the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner. (Screengrab from video on Twitter)
Violent scenes in Senekal during the court appearance of two suspects for the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner. (Screengrab from video on Twitter)

Letter: Senekal murder shows how state left rural communities vulnerable to violent attacks

Time of article published Oct 16, 2020

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Hermann Pretorius

Events in Senekal underline the need not just for honest, rational debate about key challenges facing South Africa, but practical solutions capable of uniting the reasonable majority of South Africans.

It is for this reason that we will be going today (Friday) to launch our community safety charter as a tool that can help to build a common purpose among all South Africans.

As a country, we don’t need violence, we don’t need petty blame games, we don’t need extremism, and we don’t need more animosity to divide our communities. We need practical solutions. The community safety charter provides such solutions and offers a realistic hope that we truly can #SaveRuralSA.

Events in Senekal, following the horrific murder of Brendin Horner, present a confluence of several core concerns we have long been a leading voice on: race relations, the rule of law, the failures of a government too powerful and too incompetent to secure the safety of South Africans, and the creeping degradation of property rights and the vilification of property owners, farmers in particular.

There is an enormous need for the reasonable South African majority to be represented in the public debates on these issues. But now isn’t just the time for honest, open, and reasonable discussions on issues that unite all decent South Africans – we also need practical solutions. That is why we will be on the ground in Senekal.

Rural communities are among those abandoned by government and left vulnerable to violent attacks.

Hermann Pretorius is the Deputy head of policy research Institute of Race Relations.

The Star

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