Let us not allow warmongers to ruin SA: Tito Mboweni after Senekal unrest

Finance minister Tito Mboweni says 'there are groups of unhappy people trying to incite instability in our country'.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni says 'there are groups of unhappy people trying to incite instability in our country'.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ ESA ALEXANDER

As violence and tensions ease in the small town of Senekal, Free State, finance minister Tito Mboweni says individuals who seek to divide South Africans and stir war must not be allowed to ruin the country.

“There are groups of unhappy people trying to incite instability in our country. The majority of South Africans, black and white farmers, farm, mine and industrial workers, bankers and financers want peace and prosperity for our country. Let us not allow warmongers to ruin SA,” the minister tweeted on Tuesday.

Senekal has been in the spotlight for the past two weeks after the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner on October 1, allegedly by Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa.

Mahlamba and Matlaletsa appeared briefly before the Senekal magistrate's court for the first time on October 6. They remained in police custody after the matter was postponed to Friday last week.

Violent scenes broke out inside the courtroom when protesting farmers damaged court property during an attempt to force entry into the police cells. They demanded that the suspects be handed over to them.

Outside, a police van was overturned and set alight as the community demanded justice for Horner.

This sparked calls by EFF leader Julius Malema to the party's “ground forces” to attend the court trial last Friday.

In the week leading up to demonstrations in “defence” of public property and democracy, Malema said there would be no violence unless the “ground forces” were provoked.

However, according to a TimesLIVE report, protesters who wore EFF regalia threw rocks, empty beer bottles and bricks at a group who attempted to pass. Another group of red berets shouted “shoot, shoot, shoot” towards farmers, bikers and residents.

On Monday, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu reflected on Friday's “successful” protests in Senekal. He praised the party's supporters and said they are a “ fearless generation that will reclaim the stolen land and take over the banks, mines and strategic sectors of the economy for the benefit of all people”. 

The murder suspects appeared again in court on Tuesday.


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