Herman Mashaba blames Senekal murder and protests on 'total collapse' of rule of law

13 October 2020 - 16:00
ActionSA president Herman Mashaba.
ActionSA president Herman Mashaba.
Image: Sunday Times

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba has slammed President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to the murder of Free State farm manager Brendin Horner, which he blamed on a “total collapse of the rule of law” under the ANC's watch.

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa on Monday said Horner’s murder, allegedly by two black men, and the protests that followed had opened up old wounds “that go back many generations”.

“The violent protests that took place in Senekal after the arrests of suspects in Brendin Horner's murder show that we have not yet escaped the divisions and mistrust of our past. While anger at the senseless killing is justifiable, vigilantism is not,” said Ramaphosa.

Responding to the letter, Mashaba blamed the ruling party for allegedly “looting” resources meant to empower the public. He said the ANC has failed to build an inclusive economy and functioning state.

Violent scenes unfolded last week after the appearance of two suspects at the Senekal magistrate's court.

Angry protesters damaged court property as they demanded justice for Horner. Outside the court, a police van was overturned and set alight.

Police arrested a 51-year old businessman for his alleged involvement in the protests. He was denied bail on Tuesday and faces charges of public violence, malicious damage and attempted murder.

Brig Tshokolo Posholi, provincial head of the organised crime and commercial crime units in the Free State, previously told the court that a female warrant officer, clad in full uniform, who attempted to prevent the protesters from entering court, was threatened and throttled.

Mashaba was not the only one who was unimpressed by Ramaphosa's response.

Some social media users said Ramaphosa's statement was “vague” and accused the president of “playing the race card” instead of condemning the crime.

Here's a glimpse into the responses: