Confronting white supremacy and 'taking over the banks': EFF reflects on Senekal 'success'
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu on Sunday praised the opposition party's supporters after demonstrations in the small town of Senekal, in the Free State.
A sea of red descended on the Senekal magistrate's court to attend the second appearance of Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, the men alleged to have murdered farm manager Brendin Horner.
EFF leader Julius Malema last week called on supporters to attend the court hearing in “defence” of the country's democracy and court property after violent demonstrations at the suspect's first court appearance earlier this month.
Tweeting a series of pictures from the EFF's protests, Shivambu said the party's “ground forces” would one day "reclaim the stolen land and take over the banks, mines and strategic sectors of the economy for the benefit of all people".
On Friday morning, police conducted searches on motorists and EFF supporters to ensure safety in the area. Buses ferrying EFF supporters were parked a short distance from the court.
After court proceedings were concluded, Malema addressed his supporters on a stage erected earlier in the day. He said the party had no interest in backing the alleged killers and called for justice to take its course.
Malema questioned the motive behind the attendance of the court case by white farmers.
“They [white people] are not here for the farm murder. They are here to use this farm murder to address the issue of land. They think they can use this farm murder to intimidate us and stop talking about the land, to move away from demanding the land,” he said.
In a statement issued by the party on Friday, the EFF said its demonstrations were a success.
It said it will continue to confront "white supremacist behaviour", regardless of criticism.
“The honeymoon for racists is over, and we thank the leadership and membership of the EFF for sending a strong message to all those who seek to take this country back to a dark past.”
Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies on Sunday praised police, the EFF and farmers for ensuring non-violence on Friday.
However, he said the police should have tried to keep the protesting groups apart to prevent confrontation.
“They clearly failed to do that throughout because there was a confrontation and stones were thrown. Fortunately, on both sides, there were people who kept their members back [because] it could have turned ugly,” he said.
“The two groups did exercise a lot of restraint. I saw members of the EFF calling and pushing their members back and forming a chain between themselves and the farmers. Among the farmers it was the same, except for one or two who wanted to retaliate when stones were thrown.”
The 21-year-old girlfriend of murder accused, Skwetja Mahlamba, has proclaimed his innocence, alleging she had a solid alibi for where he was on the night farm manager Brendin Horner was murdered. Horner's body was found tied to a farm gate after he was killed by unknown attackers on October 2 2020.