Businessman arrested for violent Senekal protest back in court

A Senekal businessman appeared in court on Friday on, among others, a charge of terrorism.
Image: Emile Bosch

A 51-year-old businessman arrested for his alleged role in fiery protest in Senekal last week will hear on Tuesday whether he will be released on bail.

Magistrate Buti Mlangeni is expected to deliver bail judgment in the Senekal magistrate’s court after the man’s arrest on Wednesday last week. The man — whose identity may not be revealed by order of the court — was among those outside the court when an “unruly group” caused when “demanding justice” for murdered Brendin Horner.

Two men were appearing in court on Wednesday for the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Horner, who was killed one year to the day after he began working for the Scheepers family at Bloukruin Boerdery, close to the small Free State town of Paul Roux.

The accused, who owns a construction company, made his first appearance on Friday.

Initially, he was charged only with malicious damage to property and public violence, but the court heard on Friday that he now faced two additional charges — attempted murder and terrorism.

His affidavit revealed that he had a previous theft conviction. He admitted to the 2011 theft for which his sentence was wholly suspended for three years on condition that he paid the money back.

The man told the court in his affidavit that he was bipolar and on chronic medication.

Witness for the state Brig Tshokolo Posholi, the provincial head of the organised crime and commercial crime units in the Free State, who had been assigned to lead the investigation, told the court that it was not in the interests of justice to release the Senekal businessman on bail.

Posholi testified that a female warrant officer, clad in full uniform, who attempted to prevent the protesters from entering court, was threatened and throttled by the man.

He said that if the man had not throttled the female officer, extensive damage to the court property would have not happened.

The court heard the accused was a violent person and his actions, aimed at the two murder accused, showed “an element of resentment”.

TimesLIVE

By Iavan Pijoos – TimesLIVE

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