Brendin Horner, 21, a white farm manager, was found tied to a post, tortured, and had numerous broken bones, stab wounds, and was strangled with a rope around his neck as he was murdered. On October 6, enraged farmers gathered at the courthouse, demanding justice against the two suspects in the Horner murder. The protesters turned over a police car and set it on fire, as there is a perception that police are involved in crimes against farmers. The police are seen as useless in stopping farm murders and other crimes while politicians, seeking to grab the land, ignore farm murders and some even encourage it. The governing African National Congress has endorsed a policy of expropriation of land without compensation. Parliament has begun the process to enact the law. The president of the World Agricultural Organization said that farmers were not causing the violence. Andre Pienaar
, 51, a white businessman who owns a construction company and claims to be bi-polar, was arrested and later charged with attempted murder and inciting violence for allegedly firing his gun in court. Black farmers are also victims of crime, especially the theft of livestock. Farmers are forging stronger bonds and, if police continue to fail to protect them, they are expected to form vigilante groups.
Two black suspects, 32 and 44, were detained, with blood-stained clothes, at the scene of the arrest. Police Minister Bheki Cele said the pair were serial livestock thieves, and one of them was a known felon who had been arrested 16 times in the past. The suspects’ families insist the men were at home when the crime happened.
Hundreds of red-clad Marxist activists from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party also descended on the Free State town. They sang a banned apartheid-era song with the lyrics “kill the Boer – kill the farmer”. The Boer are the descendants of Dutch settlers. -GEG