Farmers in the East Free State say the brutal murder of the 21 year old Brendin Horner would not have taken place if the Hawks acted on a detailed report containing the names of a local stock theft syndicate provided to a lieutenant colonel of the Hawks working at Hawks HQ.
The report contains the names of senior Paul Roux police officers involved in the syndicate, photos of the cars of stock thieves and their registration numbers and names of people with insider knowledge of corruption at Paul Roux police and their collusion with the stock theft syndicate. However this report has been gathering dust somewhere in a Hawks office in Pretoria.
Mr Herkie Viljoen, safety coordinator for the Bethlehem district agricultural association, openly told Rapport that Brendin died because people did not do their jobs.
Several agricultural leaders told an Afrikaans Sunday newspaper that the Police’s lack of action against the stock theft syndicate combined with the conviction that many SAPS members themselves are involved in the stock theft syndicate is what led to the boiling over of emotions of protestors who entered the Senekal court on Tuesday when the two suspects appeared in connection with Brendin’s murder the previous Thursday.
Brendin was found dead with stab wounds standing in an upright position with a rope tied around his neck and a pole on the farm where he lived.
Horner was described by his employer Mr Gilly Scheepers of Bloukruin Farm as a good and soft hearted young man who could have become a top farmer.
A group of 30 protestors entered the Senekal court on Tuesday morning 6 October 2020, and headed to the court cells when emotions boiled over. A Police van was overturned and set alight in the chaos that followed. A former farmer, Andre Pienaar, was subsequently arrested and he appeared in court on a whole array of charges – from terrorism, attempted murder to malicious damage to property. His bail application was postponed to coming Tuesday 13 October 2020.
Mr Viljoen held a speech in front of the court on Tuesday in which he said Bheki Cele, minister of Police, must tell the country what happened with the report about the involvement of Paul Roux police members in stock theft in the area. Mr Viljoen said that if the Hawks acted on the information about the syndicate provided to them in January, with full proof and details, the stock theft syndicate which has been terrorising farmers for a full 2 years would not have been able to do to Brendin what they did.
Viljoen said on Tuesday that they now demand that the Police must appoint a task team within a week to investigate the stock theft syndicate and the Paul Roux police involvement with them. Mr Viljoen said they first raised the issue with local Police stations and when they got no reaction they raised it with the Police cluster office but again got no reaction. Mr Viljoen says he then sent a full report to the Hawks Lieutenant Colonel in 2 parts, the first in December and the second part in January 2020.
Mr Viljoen says he regularly followed up on the matter but the Hawks officer always had excuses.
Mr Viljoen says he again followed up on the matter 2 weeks ago and told the officer the situation in Paul Roux is getting worse. Again the officer had excuses. Shortly afterwards Brendin was murdered. Mr Viljoen says that 2 local policemen, a constable and a sergeant, are known to have bragged around town that they don’t use their Police salaries because the stock theft syndicate is paying them enough.
A farmer told the paper that because Police never make stock theft arrests, the thieves are beginning to believe that it is their right to steal sheep and other livestock. The farmers also said that when they make arrests themselves and hand the suspects over to Police, the Police coach the suspects what to say in court and also confiscate the firearms of farmers afterwards because the thieves make allegations that they were pointed with firearms.
A farmer said that the syndicate steals whole herds of sheep at a time and chase them to where they want them and the only hope farmers have of getting their livestock back is looking for it themselves. The farmer says they have to act as the local stock theft unit on top of being farmers.
Some of the allegations in the report are :
- Stolen cattle was found on the farm of a Police general. A worker of the general was arrested but he died in the police cells. The investigation officer in the case was transferred to another station.
- A SAPS station commander of an East Free State town was seen numerous times close to scenes where livestock was stolen. The station commander is linked to at least six cases of livestock theft. The names of other police officers involved in stocktheft are also mentioned in the report.
The report also contains the names of possible witnesses.
Mr Viljoen’s report reveals shocking details and numbers. Thousands of livestock were stolen since 2018 in the area, yet only one person was arrested by Police. Some farmers have lost up to 200 sheep in a single night.
Mr Gilly Scheepers told the paper that there is no law and order in the region and the situation can be described as lawless and chaotic.
Scheepers says 2 of his workers were almost beaten to death by stock thieves 18 months ago.
Mr Scheepers says he believes that Brendin’s killers became so arrogant that they believed they will get away with his murder and still believes that. The newspaper made an appointment with the station commander of the Paul Roux police station, a captain Moloi, for Friday morning but he never pitched.
The national spokesperson of the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, told Rapport he has no knowledge of the report. The Hawks in the Free State said they received Mr Viljoen’s report only on Thursday and they will refer it for investigation (yeah right).
This type of merciless corruption is what we have become used to right across the board in South Africa. We are not surprised anymore because by now we know it is #TheAfricanWay. Corruption is the accepted norm in Africa.
When we gave our country over to the ANC in 1994, without a fight and on a silver platter, we basically accepted that this is the way that we will have to live.
The liberals never told you this, did they?
The big big lesson to be learnt from this is that no people or nation must ever sign their sovereignty away. South Africa holds big big lessons for the last few white majority countries in Europe. Sign your sovereignty away and you will end up like us here in South Africa.
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