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Senekal unrest: Cele set to hold talks with Groenewald after meeting with Malema to ‘ensure peace prevails’

Police Minister Bheki Cele.

  • Police Minister Bheki Cele has already met with EFF leader Julius Malema, and will soon meet with FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald about Senekal.
  • He will also meet the family of slain Brendin Horner.
  • Cele warned that while everything will be done to ensure peace prevails, the authority of the State will be protected. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele has already met with EFF leader Julius Malema, and will soon meet with FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, to ensure that peace prevails in Senekal at the next court appearance of the men accused of murdering 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.

However, the State will also be ready to ensure that its authority is respected, Cele warned.

On Friday, Cele told News24 editor Adriaan Basson that he will meet with Malema and Groenewald.

On Monday, speaking at the launch of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)’s new hotline, Cele said he will visit Horner’s family before the court appearance on Friday.

READ | Senekal: DA lays criminal charge against Malema, Paulsen over machine gun tweets

“The situation there is tense, the situation is dangerous, the situation could go wayward and nobody controls it,” Cele said.

“This morning I almost came late here because I had a meeting with the leader of the EFF,” he said, adding that he expects to meet Groenewald within 24 hours.

“So, we’ve agreed that we’ll have to be really mature, provide leadership. Try our best that those things are avoided,” he said.

“But, that does not mean that the State is going to abandon the authority of the State. People can’t come there and bully the State and do the things they did at Senekal again. It can’t be allowed.

READ| We must not use farm attacks to mobilise communities along racial lines – Ramaphosa

“This time, we’ll be ready. This time, we’ll be there, to protect the property of the State, to protect the integrity of the State and to protect human beings.

“Even when those people are suspects, [they] cannot be given [in] to anybody’s hand. We are not in a country where it is allowed – it doesn’t matter who you are – to take the law into your own hand.”

While one man has already been arrested after Tuesday’s protest against farm murders turned violent, with the Senekal Magistrate’s Court stormed and a police vehicle overturned and set alight, Cele called on the police to also arrest the other people “who caused trouble”.

“They must be arrested, it doesn’t matter who they are, it doesn’t matter where they are, they broke the law. They burned the police van. You’ll remember that the young man from Fees Must Fall was given four years for burning a police van, so it cannot be that any other person is different.

“We’ll work hard [to ensure] that peace prevails there, but whoever crosses the line, the might of the state will prevail.”

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