WATCH | Groblersdal: Old Transvaal flag divides town after 'racist assault'

ANCYL set to march on February 8

25 January 2024 - 11:30
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The ANC Youth League in Sekhukhune plans to march in Groblersdal as they believe racial tensions are affecting the farming town in Limpopo. 

A group of farmers carrying the old Transvaal flag marched to the Groblersdal magistrate's court on Wednesday to support a father and son arrested for alleged assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Security company owner Piet Groenewald, 63, and his son Stephan, 27, were arrested last Thursday. They appeared in court on Wednesday for a formal bail application and the case was postponed to next Wednesday for the continuation of the bail hearing. They were remanded.

There are white people who are not prepared to be integrated into a democratic country.
Sam Uwane, ANC spokesperson

Limpopo police previously said the 30-year-old victim was performing his guard duties at a network tower battery site at Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, when his supervisor made an oversight visit. 

“He accused the victim of being intoxicated while on duty and drove with him to Groblersdal to discuss the matter with the manager,” said police spokesperson Col Malesela Ledwaba.

“Upon arrival, the two got into an argument that resulted in the manager hitting the victim with a hard object. 

The manager allegedly instructed a male relative to unleash their pet dog on the victim. The dog bit the victim on both legs.”

ANC regional spokesperson Sam Uwane said they viewed the incident as a racist attack and said Groblersdal was notorious for racial incidents.

Yesterday [Wednesday] we saw the 'apartheid government flag' and we picked up that there are white people who are not prepared to be integrated into a democratic country.

“We need to up our game, that is why we have planned a march through the ANC Youth League on February 8,” he said.

He said the assault was the second one recently, citing an incident in which Corrie Pretorius allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old boy during an argument over salt seasoning. 

“We think in Groblersdal this apartheid tendency is dominant and we suspect workers in the town and on farms are confronted by this issue daily, but because of the conditions of our people they are not able to talk about these things for fear of being victimised, but also to lose jobs. It is a problematic area,” he said. 

SABC News reported the town was a battlefield on Wednesday as police cordoned off the court precinct and separated groups of the accused's supporters waving old Transvaal government flags, while on the other side a group wearing ANC and EFF T-shirts called for the suspects to be denied bail.

I was there, merely to get justice and show support to those people who were arrested and to get bail. The racist tensions, I cannot confirm that
Marcelle Maritz, Limpopo FF Plus leader

Limpopo FF Plus leader Marcelle Maritz, who attended the march by the farmers, told TimesLIVE it was a peaceful march. She said there wasn't any racial problem. 

“I was there, merely to get justice and show support to those people who were arrested and to get bail. The racist tensions, I cannot confirm that. I did not experience any racial situation except from the police who were there and they kept the ANC on one side and the farmers on the other,” she said. 

She added there was no direct tension between the two groups.

“It [the flag] has nothing to do with racism, nothing to do with anything — it is only a Transvaal flag that is synonymous to the farmers and the Afrikaans people — it is not a racist flag.”

The peaceful march was organised by farmers to support the pair appearing in court, said Maritz. “We didn't arrange the march. I wasn't involved in any arrangements. We supported the people, but we didn't arrange the march.”

Uwane said they believed the youth league march would ensure people in town know the ANC is against racism and would help some of those who might be the victims of racism to open up.

More than this, there [could] be more cases where people are being harassed in jobs or factories,” he said. 

TimesLIVE


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