Watch: Angry farmers attack police outside Free State court [video]
Andile Sicetsha

The atmosphere is palpable outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court, in the Free State, where thousands of farmers and protesters have gathered to boycott court proceedings.

Watch: Angry farmers attack Free State police

Videos have surfaced on social media, showing a large crowd of rioters attacking members of SAPS’ public order unit and the media.

At some point, a police van was tilted and torched. A second video, which you can watch below, shows the enraged crowd lifting and shoving a police riot truck, in an attempt to tip it over.

What prompted the riots?

All of this chaos was brought by the proceedings that were set to take place at Senekal Magistrate’s Court. Inside, two suspects accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner.

The 22-year-old’s badly beaten body was found hanging from a pole in an open field, on Friday.

Charged with the heinous crime, Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, aged 32 and 44, were placed in the court’s holding cells, ready for make their first appearance.

However, things quickly escalated into chaos when the crowd of farmers and protesters entered the room demanding that the suspects be handed over to them.

This unusual request was, of course, denied and things turned for the worst. Media personnel were intimidated and police vehicles were attacked.

What’s the latest situation outside Senekal Magistrate’s Court?

In the madness that broke out, police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele confirmed to News24 that court property was damaged.

The police revealed that two shots were fired from the crowd outside court but, fortunately, no one was harmed.

At the time of publishing this article, the police had formed a parameter around the court to contain any further violence.