Following scenes of chaos that unfolded at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Tuesday 6 October, in which a group of protesting farmers attempted to attack two suspected killers of young Free State farmer Brendin Horner in their holding cells, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have blasted the South African Police Service (SAPS) for standing idly by as the protesters rioted, destroying a police vehicle in the process.
SAPS confirmed that there were shots fired during their attempts to get the crowds back under control, but the EFF have condemned the incident as a demonstration of South Africa’s preferential treatment of white people, especially in the context of violent protest.
They have called for the arrest of “each and every white person” involved in today’s violence, and an investigation into the passive response of officers.
EFF: ‘White people can act with impunity’
In a statement
“These individuals, arrogant as a result of this ANC-led government which suffers from low self-esteem and a fear of whiteness, committed these violent acts knowing very well no force would be shown against them because of the colour of their skins,” they said.
“Unlike the countless times where we have seen law enforcement use force against black people who protest peacefully for genuine issues, the white men who terrorised police outside a court of law operated with impunity.”
The EFF cited the police response to the protesting miners who were fired at with live ammunition at Marikana in 2012, as well as the students at various universities around the country who fought for the FeesMustFall movement and faced similarly aggressive reaction from authorities.
“It is a strong affirmation that truly it is the black skin that is welcoming violence and disrespect. It confirms that it is the black skin that is automatically the skin of criminals,” they said.
SAPS yet to make arrests following Senekal chaos
No arrests have been made at time of writing, leading the EFF to lament a seemingly disproportionate motivation to dish out law and order based on the colour of one’s skin.
“It is a strong affirmation that truly it is the black skin that is welcoming violence and disrespect,” they said. “It confirms that it is the black skin that is automatically the skin of criminals. Not a single rubber bullet was fired at these white people, and this is on the sole basis that white skin commands respect in this country while black lives do not matter.”
They said that President Cyril Ramaphosa has facilitated this environment, by way of having been used a “puppet” for “white monopoly capital”.
“Cyril Ramaphosa, who is a pet of white-monopoly capital, has put this country at the mercy of his masters,” they said. “They block roads without being dispersed and burn police vehicles with no repercussions because they know full well their boy is in charge, and there will be no consequence for them.”
Red Berets call for inquiry into ‘idle’ police officers
The Red Berets called for the “immediate arrest of each and every white person that was part of the disrespect of law enforcement and burning of state property”, saying that failure to do so would confirm what they are charging – that there is a discrepancy in South Africa’s distribution of punishment.
“We further call for an inquiry on all police officers who were present as to why these actions continued with no interventional measures,” they said.
“Too many student activists have languished in jail, been traumatised and suspended and expelled by trigger-happy police officers who shake in their boots when confronted by the violence of whites.”