Farm murders cause racial tension in South Africa

by Lauryn Morris 


The most prominent talk surrounding the country at the moment has been the ongoing farm killings that have caused riots and commotion throughout South Africa. The most recent situation has been in Kwazulu-Natal where a pregnant woman was killed on a farm in Weenen during a home invasion. 


This attack and many others have caused public riots and appeal to the government to take a strong stance and put a stop to the violence that the country’s farmers are enduring. These attacks seem to have hit Kwazulu-Natal the worst with almost 140 attacks and 26 murders taking place in KZN during the first six months of this year. 


This increase in violence led to a tense standoff on Friday 16 October between white farmers and Black activists. This clash between the two groups was a direct result of two men being accused of killing farm manager, Brendin Horner, who was a young, white farmer in the Free State. His body was found tortured and tied to a pole near his farm. The two accused were set to appear in the Senekal Magistrate Court which provoked the riot. 


The riot hosted an astounding 250 white farmers protesting against the killing of farmers all over the country as well as harassing the police and accusing them of not protecting the lives of white farmers adequately. A week before the court hearing a group of white farmers stormed the court, burning a police car in the process. 

This photo was taken outside the Senekal courthouse and shows the riots and protests going on. The white farmers and EFF members were separated by barbed wire to gain control of the situation and avoiding unnecessary conflict. In the photo, you can see the group, representing the farmers, with posters saying “Boer lives matter”. This picture came from: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12949931/black-protesters-white-farmers-murder-south-africa/ With credit to EPA. 

This led to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) mobilizing more than 1000 supporters to challenge the white farmers that stood before the courts. They stood outside singing songs and shouting their protests against the accusations that the killings are racially motivated. 


The EFF then filled several buses of EFF supporters and drove past several farmers singing songs with the words “Kill the Boer (farmer)” out of the windows as they drove through the town. They have also stated that they blame South Africa’s problems on what they refer to as a continuous stranglehold of the economy by white people. 


To read more on this please visit the article from Aljazeera at: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/16/south-african-white-farmers-protesters-face-off-over-murder


While Cyril Rhamaposa has urged South Africans to “resist attempts… to mobilize communities along racial lines.” It seems as if this has become an impossible task with the EFF and white farmers continuously clashing in an attempt to make their sides heard. 


Despite these riots, protests and the apparent increasing threat to white farmers’ lives, the government refuses to make farm killings a priority and insists that white farmers are not being specifically targeted but are suffering due to South Africa’s high crime rate. 


However, despite the government’s reassurance that these crimes are not race-related, many articles and groups of people are uniting against these brutal attacks and murders and are calling for solutions to be implemented. Kallie Roux, a leader of a group fighting against the violence white farmers are experiencing, said in an interview with IOL that, “the group refused to be silenced and would instruct demonstrators with the help of bikers, calling for intervention against farm killings.” 


She went on to say, “Our farmers are needlessly being killed by these terrorists and we need to protect our families. We need bail to be denied to persons arrested for farm murders because there is no place for them in South Africa.” 


To read more of this article please visit: https://www.iol.co.za/pretoria-news/news/unite-against-farm-murders-and-attacks-will-continue-to-call-for-solution-until-something-is-done-f01530e7-23ce-4162-8b2b-0bfd01119494


The bail application of Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, the two accused of killing Brendin Horner, was underway on Friday 16 October. During the application process the police collected evidence and witness statements against the accused. The evidence that was found and seized includes bloodstained clothes, fingerprints as well as cellphone records. The state has opposed bail but no decision has been made regarding this subject yet. The accused can only afford bail of R500 and the case has been postponed to Tuesday 20 October.

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