The police are standing by the court in a small rural village in South Africa today. There, two suspects of the murder of a young farm manager are brought to trial. This previously led to riots.
21-year-old Brendin Horner was murdered at the beginning of this month. He was found dead on a sandy road in the small town of Paul Roux in the Free State province. His boss almost immediately said he thought Horner had caught cattle thieves. Not much later, two men who had previously been convicted of cattle theft were arrested.
A group of mainly white farmers came to court last week in nearby Senekal, where the suspects appeared for the first time. A police van was set on fire.
President Cyril Ramaphosa called for calm and urged not to make a race issue. White farmers who stormed a court over two black suspects opened wounds that go back generations, the president said. Yet the fear is that today it will come to a black and white confrontation.
The opposition party EFF has said it will come to Senekal. The left-wing populist party, with a black following, says the police are cowards and should have stepped up last week. According to the party, they would be too scared to face white protesters.
EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted about the riots at the court “fighters attack“and says he is coming to protect state property. A few days later he posted a photo of a machine gun on Twitter.
In addition to the EFF, the right-wing lobby group AfriForum also says it will come to court today. AfriForum stands up for the importance of (white) Afrikaners. The organization says the murders are racially motivated and tries to put the attacks on the map nationally and internationally. The government and independent investigators say the killings are robberies and race does not matter.
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