Police Minister Bheki Cele has called for the swift arrest of lawless protesters outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Tuesday morning.
Farmers were protesting outside the court, where two suspects appeared in connection with the murder of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.
The protest turned violent after farmers attempted to get to the suspects in the court’s holding cells, leading to clashes with police, resulting in one police van being overturned and set alight.
Police reports indicate that following the brief court appearance, around a hundred demonstrators, among them armed farmers, stormed into the court building demanding the suspects be handed over.
Police had to use teargas to disperse the violent group.
Cele has called on police to act swiftly and arrest those responsible.
“While we all condemn the gruesome killing of this young man in Paul Roux, absolutely no one has the right to take the law into their own hands – no matter what the situation is. This type of lawlessness can’t be justified nor taken lightly.”
Cele further questioned the demonstrators’ motives when turning their anger towards the police.
“There is no logic when these protestors burn a police van, which is the same resource that is meant to assist them. It is also baffling why the anger of this community is being directed towards the police, when arrests have been made by the police and the suspects are before the courts.”