'Cabinet supports the arrest of criminals involved in farm killings:' Jackson Mthembu

23 October 2020 - 10:54
Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu.
Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu says the cabinet commended the police for arresting individuals implicated in the murder of farmers and farm workers across the country.

He was addressing the media on Thursday about the outcomes of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“Cabinet fully supports the work of the SA police in arresting those committing heinous crimes which include the killing and maiming of farmers and farm workers throughout the country.

“The farming community is an integral part of our economy and crime on farms poses a threat not only to the safety of farmers and farm workers but also food security,” said Mthembu.

The minister also said the cabinet is fast-tracking the implementation of the revised rural safety strategy to respond to the security needs of rural communities and support socio-economic development.

He urged communities to help combat crime in their communities by forming and joining local policing forums and reporting suspicious activities to police stations.

Violence and murder in rural communities continues to be under the spotlight since the murder of Senekal farm manager, Brendin Horner. His body was found tied to a pole with stab wounds on October 2, at a farm near Paul Roux.

The 21-year old was allegedly murdered by Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa. The men appeared in the Senekal magistrate's court on Thursday where they continued their bail bid. Mahlamba's bail was denied by magistrate Deon van Rooyen while Matlaletsa was granted bail of R5,000.

Van Rooyen said the state's case against Matlaletsa was weak and that he showed exceptional circumstances. He said save for two statements obtained from witnesses, there was no evidence linking Matlaletsa to Horner’s murder.

On Mahlamba, the magistrate poked holes in the statement given by his girlfriend, who said he was not at their home when she woke up at about 11pm on the night of Horner's murder. She said he only returned at about 4am on October 2.

Van Rooyen said Mahlamba knows both state witnesses and said he might influence his girlfriend to change her statement. The matter was postponed to December 1 for further investigation.