This killing revived racial tensions and triggered incidents last week. On Monday morning, the head of state, Cyril Ramaphosa, warned: “This incident shows how easily the fire of racial hatred can be rekindled.”
Ten days ago a young white farmer, 22, was murdered. Brendin Horn’s body was found tied to a pole on his farm in Senekal, Free State province, 200 kilometers from Johannesburg. In the process, two black men were arrested. They are suspected of killing the farmer and stealing cattle.
After the murder, white farmers organized a demonstration and tried to storm the police station where the suspects were located. They also burned a police car.
One of the white farmers was arrested and charged with terrorism.
Thirty-eight murders since the beginning of the year
These farmers did not donate. For Afriforum, a press group defending 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, for their part, point out that most victims of violent crime in the country are black and poor.
In his call for calm, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledges that racial conditions in rural areas are far from harmonious, but warns: there must be no difference in the handling of cases, whether the victim is black or white. “We must resist any attempt to use farm crime to mobilize communities along racial lines,” the South African president said.