PROTESTING farmers had EARLIER demanded that two murder suspects be handed over to them and a police van was set on fire.

The Senekal Magistrates Court’s property was also damaged and two shots were fired, allegedly by the protesters, and no one was injured.

Police Minister Bheki Cele demanded that cops make a swift arrest and yesterday, Daily Sun published the story headlined “Cele wants protesters arrested.”

Cops said more arrests are expected.

One of the videos showed the tractors driving along the road with placards written: “Cele must fall.”

A video showing the protesters trying to stop the police nyala, which was believed to have the suspects inside, also went viral.

Police spokesman Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said following the violent eruption at Senekal Magistrates Court, one farmer was arrested yesterday.

Makhele told Daily Sun: “A team was appointed to investigate and bring those responsible to book. The team resumed with the work on Tuesday so as to identify those responsible for such riotous behaviour.

“That led to the arrest of a 52-year-old man who is a farmer in Marquad but resides in Senekal. The suspect will be charged with malicious damage to property and public violence and will appear before the Senekal Magistrates Court soon. The investigation still continues and more arrests are imminent.”

Free State police commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane applauded the arresting members and said:

“We would like to commend the team for this speedy response. We believe that ongoing relations between the police and farmers and farming communities will assist in putting this matter to rest and ensure that justice prevails.”

The case of the two murder suspects will resume on 16 October.-Daily Sun

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