South African police make an arrest in connection with lawlessness by furious white farmers


LESS than 24 hours after coming under heavy criticism for failing to act when faced with brazen unlawfulness, South African police have arrested a farmer for the acts, which included the torching of a police van, firing of a gun in and damage to the court building.

The 52 year-old farmer, who has not been named, was arrested for his role in the torching of the police vehicle. He is expected to be joined by others as the South African Police Service expect to make more arrests.

“The suspect will be charged with malicious damage to property and public violence and will appear in Senekal Magistrate court soon. Investigation still continues and more arrests are imminent. We would like to commend the team for this speedy response. We believe that ongoing relations between the police and farmers and farming communities will assist in putting this matter into rest and ensure that justice prevails”, said Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane.

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The South African Minister of Police Bheki Cele was encouraged by the arrest and called for more arrests “as it is clear the criminality that took place was a collective act that threatened the rule of law.”

Pandemonium erupted at the Senekal Magistrates Court on Tuesday where two suspects, Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba (32) and Sekola Piet Matlaetsa (44), arrested for the murder of Brandon Horner (22), appeared. The case against Mahlamba and Matlaetsa was postponed to October 16.

Horner was murdered and found tied to a pole at Die Rots farm in Paul Roux, a small town near Senekal.

Police said soon after the murder case was postponed, the farmers forced their way into court in an attempt to storm the police cells and avenge the death of Horner. 

Failure by the police to act against the farmers has been criticised by South Africans who took to social media to express their anger. They were joined by three cabinet ministers who expressed their shock and disgust at the action by the farmers.

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