The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Bongani Tshabalala

SENEKAL- Known for the wrong reasons , a group of Senekal residents near Bethlehem in the Free State decided to turn around their situation and unite the community through embarking on a cleaning campaigning.

The initiative will not only see their streets becoming clean but will also unite both white and black residents whose relations were soured by  the murder of young farm manager Brendin Horner in October 2020. Horner was found hanged on the pole early in the morning of October 02,2020 and two suspects linked to his murder has since been arrested and kept in custody.

Speaking on behalf of the group, John Mathuhle, says around 400 people, including farmers and business people, are set to take part in the campaign. This follows chaotic scenes which emanated from the local magistrate’s court following the murder of Horner, which fuelled racial tensions.

Senekal residents black and white united to reclaim their area.

Mathuhle says they believe that initiatives such as this are very critical in communities.

 “We cannot sit down and fold our arms whilst our communities are falling apart. I think there comes a time when we need to do something about the communities and municipalities that are falling apart. The best way to do that is not to take it out on the streets and break stuff but to say we’re going to stand up and fix our town ourselves, and I think this is very exciting,” he adds.

The campaign is taking place on Saturday morning.

Mathuhle says this is one of the biggest cleaning campaigns so far and farmers have donated cleaning utilities.  In 2020 the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the Free State held meetings with different groups in Senekal and reiterated calls for social cohesion. The meeting included farmers and police, amongst others.

The Commission’s spokesperson, Thabang Kheswa, previously cautioned politicians to exercise the highest level of responsibility when addressing some of these issues with their supporters.

Brendin Horner murder suspects ,Sekwetje Mahlamba,32 and Sekola Matlaletsa,44  will be back in court on March 30,2021, this after their case was postponed on Friday January 21, 2020.

Free State National Prosecuting Authority Spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said the case was postponed to allow further investigations.

Both suspects Mahlamba  and Matlaletsa remain in custody. While  Matlaletsa  was  still out on bail of R5000 he was rearrested for a separate case relating to  stock  theft .

 Mahlamba ‘s  efforts to secure bail  hit a dead end  when  magistrate Deon van Rooyen in Senekal decided he was not a good candidate for bail, a decision that was confirmed by the Bloemfontein High court  after he appealed.