The murder rekindled racial tensions and incidents last week. On Monday morning, Head of State Cyril Ramaphosa warned: “This incident shows how easily the inferno of racial hatred can be rekindled.’’
Ten days ago, a young white farmer, aged 22, was murdered. Brendin Horn’s body was found tied to a pole at his farm in Senekal, in the Free State Province, 200 kilometers from Johannesburg. In the aftermath, two black men were arrested. They are suspected of killing the farmer and stealing cattle.
Following this murder, white farmers organized a demonstration and attempted to storm the police station where the suspects were located. They also burned a law enforcement vehicle.
One of the white farmers was arrested and charged with terrorism.
These farmers did not take off. For Afriforum, a pressure group that defends the interests of the white minority, there is no doubt: whites are being targeted. According to them, there have been 292 such attacks this year, including 38 murders.
The authorities point out that the majority of victims of violent crimes in the country are black and poor.
In his appeal for calm, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged that race relations in rural areas are far from harmonious, but warned that there should be no difference in the treatment of cases, whether the victim is black or white. “We must resist any attempt to use farm crimes to mobilize communities along racial lines,” said South Africa’s President Ramaphosa.