It was not a fight between black and white but rather between criminals and law-abiding citizens and the slain farm manager Brendin Horner would not have approved of the conflict happening in his community, said his family.
Police were out in full force as scores of people, including farmers, organisations and thousands of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members protested in the streets ahead of the bail hearing of two suspects accused of the murder before the Senekal Magistrates Court in the Free State.
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Despite the murder sparking racial tensions in the community, this did not reflect the reality in the area, said Horner’s family spokesperson Gilly Scheepers.
Speaking to NewzRoom Afrika ahead of the bail hearing, he condemned the politicising of the murder as crime was instead the main issue in the community.
“This is a disaster that is happening in our community at this stage because this is a fight between criminals and law-abiding citizens,” he said.
“It is not a fight between white and black. Politics is coming into this. I really don’t think it’s appropriate. Brendin Horner would never ever in his life approve of something like this.”
Horner, 22, was found dead tied to a pole with multiple stab wounds. Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, 44, were arrested for suspected links to the murder. But their first court appearance turned to violence when farmers stormed the court’s corridors to confront the alleged killers.
The farmers overturned and torched a police vehicle and damaged property. A 52-year-old man was arrested for the incident and charged with attempted murder, malicious damage to property and incitement to violence.
But the Horner family did not condone the farmers’ behaviour as “crime on crime” was not a solution, said Scheepers.
“You cannot try to retaliate crime with crime. I don’t think it is the right thing and I don’t approve of that,” he said.