News Senekal: NPA accused of bias regarding charges against arrested...

Senekal: NPA accused of bias regarding charges against arrested farmer

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The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) has accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of bias following the charges laid against an arrested Senekal farmer earlier this week. 

The 52-year-old farmer was arrested following chaotic protests outside the Senekal court after suspects implicated in a farm murder appeared in the dock. The group, which included farmers, called for the suspects to be released into their hands and according to the police ministry, this all took place while court property was damaged and a police vehicle was overturned. 

CHARGES AGAINST SENEKAL FARMER ‘UNREASONABLE’ 

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, on Friday 9 October, said the charges of, among other things, terrorism, attempted murder, incitement to violence and public violence brought against the Senekal farmer, serve as proof that there are double standards when it comes to farmers and the agricultural community.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson in the Free State Phaladi Shuping confirmed to The South African that the charges of terrorism, attempted murder, incitement to violence and public violence were indeed accurate.  

According to Groenewald, the state, on Friday, appointed a senior lawyer to oppose the farmer’s bail application. 

“The charges of terrorism and attempted murder are serious and unreasonable, so the prosecuting authority is guilty of being biased and, thus, it is not fulfilling its role as an objective authority that must act fairly and in the best interest of every person in the country,” said Groenewald. 

Arguing that the charges were “blown out of proportion,” Groenewald said there was no sign of terrorism during the Senekal court case and nobody’s life was endangered.

“These kinds of charges will only stir up emotions and could lead to even more conflict in South Africa. It comes down to further incitement by the prosecuting authority itself,” he said. 

NO SUCH CHARGES AGAINST EFF AFTER CLICKS ‘RAMPAGE’ 

Groenewald said no charges of terrorism or attempted murder were brought against members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) when they went on a countrywide “violent rampage” of plundering Clicks stores following a controversial hair advert. 

“In addition, one did not see that such charges were brought against individuals after countrywide service delivery protests during which police vehicles were torched and private property was destroyed,” said Groenewald. 

“It is totally unacceptable and as leader of the FF Plus, I will personally take up this matter with the relevant ministers and the police. The charges are creating a dangerous situation – we cannot allow a certain group of people in South Africa to blatantly and unfairly apply double standards, particularly not towards the agricultural community and farmers,” he added. 

The FF Plus said it creates the impression that racism is the underlying reason for the seriousness of the charges. 

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