South African white farmers, Black protesters face off over farm murder

SENEKAL, South Africa (Reuters) – White South African farmers in addition to Black protesters hurled abuse in addition to threats at each some other on Friday during a court hearing in a murder case that will has exposed still simmering racial tensions 26 years after the end of apartheid.

The killing of Brendan Horner, a white man whose body was found tied to a pole at his farm in Free State province, sparked riots at the start of This kind of month, in addition to prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to appeal to South Africans to “resist attempts … to mobilise communities along racial lines”.

The farmers outside the courthouse within the town of Senekal accused the government of failing to protect them by violent crime. Their opponents, by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), complained about what they see as the continued domination of South Africa’s economy by whites, while many Black South Africans remain as poor as they did under apartheid.

EFF leader Julius Malema sat inside the courtroom in which the two murder suspects filed a request for bail during Friday’s hearing. The judge adjourned the case until Oct. 20.

Afterwards, Malema told a rally of thousands, “don’t be confused by the so-called farm murders”, adding that will many more Black South Africans were victims of violent crime.

“Those are the ones who deserve our sympathy, not the old, white racists. We don’t want to kill (the) white man. We want equality.”

EFF supporter Khaya Langile, by Soweto, said, “I’m here because of white people … taking advantage of us.”

TIRED OF MURDERS

Earlier, police separated the two groups with razor wire in one street, however despite the noisy standoff there was no violence.

“There have been indications of tensions however by in addition to large all of them took a decision that will they did not want to see violence,” State Security minister Ayanda Dlodlo said outside the court.

The farmers mostly wore khaki shirts in addition to shorts, a few wore military outfits, in addition to at least one was armed. A group on motorbikes sporting long beards drove through Senekal, some waving flags emblazoned with crosses.

“We are getting tired at This kind of point of all the farm murders,” said Geoffrey Marais, 30, a white livestock trader by Delmas, where a woman was strangled to death two weeks ago.

“Enough can be enough. They (the government) must start to prioritise these crimes.”

Murders of white farmers make up a modest fraction of the total in South Africa, which has the earth’s fifth highest murder rate. within the 2019/20 financial year there were 21,325 murders across the country, of which 49 were white farmers, according to police statistics.

The farmers also feel threatened by a government plan to expropriate white-owned land without compensation as part of an effort to redress economic inequalities that will remain stark a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid.

Roughly 70% of privately-owned farmland in South Africa can be owned by whites, who make up less than 9% of the country’s population of 58 million.

Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, Gareth Jones in addition to Giles Elgood

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Source : South African white farmers, Black protesters face off over farm murder