The farmer who is accused of inciting violence at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in in Free State last week André Pienaar, has been denied bail after making a brief appearance in the same court on Tuesday morning.

The 52-year-old was arrested last Wednesday, 7 October, after farmers engaged in violent protests outside the court the day before as the two suspects in the murder of 22-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner made their first appearance.

Providing reasons for refusing bail‚ Mlangeni said Pienaar told the court earlier that he had close ties with the community‚ but this was the same community he allegedly attacked.

Mlangeni said Pienaar was accused of attacking a female police officer who was executing her duty. This showed that he doesn’t hesitate to use violence against anyone who comes in his way. He said there was a risk that Pienaar would interfere with the police investigation.

Mlangeni said the personal details of potential witnesses was easily accessible through court documents. In his short time in custody‚ he was able to identify witnesses who could potentially exonerate him. He said “This was a deliberate attempt to jeopardise a criminal investigation.”

Mlangeni said Pienaar further allegedly tried to undermine the rule of law by damaging court property and holding cells‚ which could have led to the escape of awaiting trial prisoners. This potentially could have caused serious harm to the public.

Mlangeni said gunshots were fired in the courtrooms and personnel‚ mostly women‚ had to be evacuated. “Anyone who assaults a woman‚ assaults a nation.”

Meanwhile, the violent protests had police minister Bheki Cele calling for swift action in response to the matter.

Horner’s body was discovered tied to a pole, with several stab wounds and head injuries earlier this month, which has caused outrage amongst the farming community as it finds itself under siege by criminal attackers.

Meanwhile, Pienaar facing charges of assault, malicious damage to property and public violence after he lodged a bail application on Friday. His case has been postponed to November 20 for further investigation.

Meanwhile, a farmer having lunch at his Vandermerwesdam home in Koffiefontein, Free State was attacked by two men on Monday. 

31-year-old Andries Smith Myburgh smelled smoke and upon investigating, was hit over the head with an object. Myburgh managed to push the suspect away, but was then allegedly attacked with a knife by a second suspect. He was also doused with petrol.

Myburgh then produced his firearm and shot in the direction of the suspects, but then realised he was on fire, and jumped into the swimming pool on his farm.  In the process, the two suspects fled on foot. 

Myburgh promptly alerted neighbours and police. He did not incur serious injuries, and was attended to by medical personnel. 

Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said one suspect was identified as a tall man, measuring around 2 metres, who was wearing green overalls and a light blue shirt. 

The second suspect was wearing a blue overall suit. Both suspects are unknown to Myburgh.