Cele calls for more arrests in Senekal protests


Police Minister General Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrest of the first suspect involved in violent demonstrations by a group of farmers outside the Senekal Magistrates Court in the Free State.

This as chaotic scenes unfolded outside the court building, following a court appearance by two suspects accused of the murder of farm manager, Brandon Horner.

Cele’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba said the Minister is encouraged that a 52-year-old man has been arrested for his role in the demonstrations.

The man is said to be a farmer in Marquad but resides in Senekal and will be charged with malicious damage to property and public violence.

However, the Minister would like to see more action taken.

“Cele is calling for more arrests as it is clear the criminality that took place was a collective act that threatened the rule of law,” Themba added.

In Tuesday’s incident, a police van was overturned and set alight during the protest by farmers, who gathered outside the court, demanding justice for Horner’s murder.

Two suspects had appeared in court for the brutal killing of the DeRots Farm manager.

A crowd stormed into the court building demanding the accused be handed over to them.

The farmers also vandalised the court property.

In a tweet, Themba announced that she has been receiving threatening calls since the incident.

“It is worrying that I continue to receive abusive and insulting and racist phone calls from anon[anonymous] people and some identify themselves as farmers from Senekal. These calls are being taken seriously and are being looked into by [the police],” Themba tweeted.

The suspects, Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32 and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, 44, remain in custody.