Tensions remain high in the small town of Senekal following a brief court appearance of two men accused of murdering 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.
Horner was found brutally beaten and tied to a pole last week Friday.
The latest killing sent shockwaves through the farming community, with many lambasting the South African Police Service (SAPS), Minister Bheki Cele and President Cyril Ramaphosa for failing to heed calls for proactive policing measures amid a swell of violent farm attacks.
Farmers from Senekal and surrounds showed up in force on Tuesday, clashing with police outside the courthouse where two men, aged 34 and 43, appeared on charges of murder. Fed-up farmers attacked police vehicles and demanded to be let into the courthouse holding cells.
Law enforcement agencies responded with tear gas.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), whose members were also present at the protest, said that it understood the frustrations of the farming community at large, explaining:
“The DA understand the emotions of a violent death of a young person and the frustrations people have with the criminal justice system. The DA will not react to violent outbursts and will continue to be the voice of reason.”
Following a meeting with Agri-SA, TLU SA and AfriForum, National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said that proactive measures — including the identification of hotspots — were being discussed to curb the tide of farm attacks.
The suspects charged with murdering Horner have been remanded in custody and will be back in court on 16 October.