Farmer arrested after Senekal court violence

A fire is extinguished after protesting farmers overturned and set alight a police vehicle outside the Senekal Magistrate's Court in Free State on Tuesday. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Police say investigations will continue and that more arrests are imminent.

A 52-year-old farmer was arrested on Wednesday following a protest which turned violent outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in Free Sate on Tuesday.

Farmers descended on the court for the first appearance of two suspects in the death of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.

They attempted to get to the suspects in the court’s holding cells, leading to clashes with police, resulting in one police van being overturned and set alight.

According to the SA Police Service, the arrested man is a farmer in Marquad, but resides in Senekal.

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A team led by a senior officer was appointed to investigate and “bring those responsible to book”.

This follows Police Minister Bheki Cele calling for swift action in response to the violence yesterday.

“The team resumed with the work yesterday so at to identify those responsible for such riotous behaviour and that led to the arrest,” the statement said.

“The suspect will be charged with malicious damage to property and public violence, and will appear in Senekal Magistrate Court soon.”

Cele has welcomed the arrest, and also called for more arrests as it was clear the criminality that took place was a collective act that threatened the rule of law. Police said the investigation will continue and that more arrests are imminent.

Quoting Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane, the statement said that SAPS believes “that on-going relations between the police and farmers and farming communities will assist in putting this matter to rest and ensure that justice prevails”.

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