The charges of, among other things, terrorism, attempted murder, incitement to violence and public violence brought against one of the farmers in this week’s Senekal protest, serves as proof of double standards when it comes to farmers, according to the Freedom Front Plus.
In a statement, the party’s Pieter Groenewald said the charges against the farmer, who is currently still in custody pending the completion of his bail application, prove that “the prosecuting authority wants to make an example” of the accused, “and in so doing send a message to farmers and the agricultural community.”
He argues that the charges of terrorism and attempted murder are “serious and unreasonable”, pointing to bias on the part of the prosecuting authority.
“The prosecuting authority is supposed to always remain objective, equitable and fair toward all accused individuals. Clearly this is not the case here and the charges are being blown out of proportion,” the statement reads.
He said there was no sign of terrorism during Tuesday’s court case in Senekal, and nobody’s life was endangered, and warns that “These kinds of charges will only stir up emotions and could lead to even more conflict in South Africa. It comes down to further incitement by the prosecuting authority itself.”
He also questions why no charges of terrorism or attempted murder were brought against members of the EFF during the recent protests at Clicks stores countrywide, nor against anyone responsible for destruction during service delivery protests.
“It is totally unacceptable and as leader of the FF Plus, I will personally take up this matter with the relevant ministers and the police.”
The farmer in question has been seen in video clips addressing attendees of the initial peaceful protest, and telling the that the accused in the murder of Senekal farmer, Brendin Horner will simply be allowed to walk free by the legal system, and that it is time to take personal action.
He can be seen inciting others to join him in removing them from the holding cells, shortly before things turned violent and a group of protestors attempted to do exactly that.
Gunshots were fired, for which the police and farmers blame each other, while the accused also allegedly throttled a female police officer who attempted to prevent them from accessing the holding cells.
His bail application will continue next week, and the court has ordered that his identity be withheld until after this process is completed.