Tensions run high at Parys farmers' trial

13 January 2016 - 09:05 By SHAUN SMILLIE

Police used barbed wire to separate two groups of protesters who yesterday gathered outside the Parys Magistrate's Court, where four farmers appeared accused of killing two men. The groupings, made up of ANC, EFF and supporters of the four farmers, sang racially provocative songs and taunted each other as they waited for the four men - Anton Loggeburg, Gert van der Westhuizen and Mocke and Johan Cilliers - to appear for a bail hearing."Before it started there was a huge gathering and tensions were high," said police spokesman Brigadier Billy Jones.Some of the farmers' supporters flew the vierkleur, the flag of the old Transvaal republic, and sang Die Stem while ANC and EFF supporters sang Kill the Boer."We had to push them apart and separate them using barbed wire, but there was no tactical activity needed from us," Jones said.He added once the groups had been separated tensions died down among the estimated 40 farmers and 150 EFF and ANC supporters.Inside the courtroom the four men were granted bail of R5000 each. They are to appear in court again on February 12."We will continue investigating the incident, and we were hoping for a happier outcome to yesterday's proceedings," said Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.The incident the men stand accused of took place on Wednesday last week when a farmer living close to Parys claimed he was approached by two armed men while feeding his dogs.The men, said Mulaudzi, allegedly demanded R20000. The farmer, who had allegedly been pistol-whipped, managed to fight them off and was able to escape and run into the house where he pressed a panic button. The men fled the scene.Later a group of farmers from the area confronted two men, Samuel Tjexa and Seun Tangasha, who they located about 8km from where the initial attack allegedly took place.The two men were assaulted before police arrived and an ambulance was called.Tjexa died at the Parys Provincial Hospital, while Tangasha was declared dead on arrival at the Pelonomi Hospital.

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