Senekal farm murder Free State Brendin Horner 2

Photo: Yusuf Abramjee

Watch: Chaos as farmers try to attack murder suspects in court

There was absolute bedlam – inside and outside of the courtc – in Senekal on Tuesday, as farmers tried to get their hands on two murder suspects.

Senekal farm murder Free State Brendin Horner 2

Photo: Yusuf Abramjee

A group of angered farmers tried to storm the cells which are holding the killers of young Free State farmer Brendin Horner on Tuesday. The Senekal Magistrate’s Court saw scenes of anarchy, both outside and inside the premises, as gatvol locals torched a police van and damaged state property.

Free State farmers protest at Brendin Horner hearing

The extraordinary outburst of violence comes while emotions are running incredibly high in this part of Free State. Horner, 21, became the victim of a brutal farm murder last week. South Africa’s rural communities have been protesting about the conditions facing farmers over the past few years, with safety remaining their major concern.

However, when suspects Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa were taken to the cells following a brief court appearance in Senekal, chaos descended upon the venue. A police vehicle was thrown onto its side by the enraged mob, before an attempt to assault the detainees was thwarted by officers inside the holding cells. Protesters got within a few metres of their target before law enforcement regained control.

Watch: Farm murder protesters cause chaos outside Senekal court

Latest reaction to Senekal ‘anarchy’

The DA were in attendance on Tuesday – and they distanced themselves from the violence that erupted in Senekal:

“Brendin Horner paid the ultimate price for his choice of career as a young South African farmer. The DA understands the emotions of the 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.”

Roy Jankielsohn, of the DA

AfriForum, however, are in no mood to condemn these ugly scenes, and pinned the blame on the government:

“We saw outside the court how people show compassion, but also that people are furious about the situation in the country. The anger that the people have expressed here today is the result of the cruelty of the problem that simply does not stop and which is accompanied by the attitude that the government takes towards farm murders.”

Ernst Roets, of AfriForum