Senekal unrest: Second arrest made after court chaos

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A burning police vehicle following protest action in Senekal.

PHOTO: Mlungisi Louw/Netwerk24

  • A second arrest has been made relating to the chaos that played out at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court last week.
  • This as farmers and their supporters were seemingly trying to gain access to two men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner last week.
  • Horner was stabbed and found with a rope around his neck and tied to a pole in Paul Roux in the Free State two weeks ago.

Another arrest has been made in connection with the torching of a police vehicle at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State last week.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed the arrest, saying a 33-year-old man had been taken into custody. He will face charges of public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

The man, who resides in Senekal, owns a towing service. He is expected to appear before the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The arrest was also confirmed by police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba in a tweet.

On Tuesday last week, thousands of farmers descended on the small town of Senekal to protest following the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner, 21.

Horner, who managed a farm in Paul Roux, was murdered and found with a rope around his neck and tied to a pole.

The accused Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa were arrested and appeared briefly in court on Tuesday, when the case was postponed to Friday.

André Pienaar, a Senekal resident, is being held in Bethlehem after he was arrested. 

The 51-year-old is expected to face charges of malicious damage to property and public violence, reported earlier.

Pienaar delivered a rousing speech on the back of a bakkie outside the court on Tuesday and allegedly encouraged people to storm the courthouse and to get the accused.

During a fracas, a police vehicle was overturned and set alight. There were also reports of damage to court property.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola have both condemned the incident.

In the statement on Wednesday, police said following the violent incident at the court on Tuesday, an investigating team led by a senior officer was appointed to investigate and identify those responsible for the public violence.

– Compiled by Nicole McCain