09 October 2020
Free State Reporter/PretoriaLIVE
SENEKAL – Civil rights movement #NotInMyNameInternational has strongly condemned violent protests which led to the damage of state property in Free State, and the subsequent “selective” handling of the protests by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
“If memory serves us well, Kanya Cekeshe was convicted of public violence and malicious damage to property for attempting to set alight a police vehicle during #FeesMustFall protests,” said #NotInMyNameInternational secretary general Themba Masango.
“Moreover, #NotInMyNameInternational led a peaceful protest at the Zimbabwean Embassy in support of #BlackLivesMatter – a protest which was legal, and yet stun grenades were thrown and rubber bullets were fired at unarmed activists.”
Masango said it is “disconcerting that the law remains to be inconsistently applied and enforced based on race” and this
pattern intensified during the nationwide lockdown.
“Matters affecting black people are the subject of
police brutality and general violation of basic human rights, including the right to life,” said Masango.
He said however, Masango said #NotInMyNameInternational is encouraged by the arrest of a suspect in connection with the malicious damage to state property in Senekal.
“However, had the police enforced the law as hastily as they do with all other protests, this could have been easily avoided.
We are calling on the Minister of Police [Bheki Cele] to have the Basic Skills
Curriculum revised. The police are not well-equipped to handle criminal issues on any level,” said Masango.
Two suspects were arrested for the murder of Free State farm manager Brenin Horner. He was tied with a rope to a pole in an open space situated at De Rots.
As the suspects appeared in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, violence erupted and a police vehicle was torched as protesting farmers stormed the court premises.
A 52-year-old farmer was appearing in court on Friday in connection with the violence. There was a strong police presence around the court.