By Annisa Essack
The second suspect in the Senekal protest case, Stephen Fourie, has been granted bail in the town’s Local Magistrate’s Court in the Free State today. Fourie, 33, stood in the dock for the first time today after spending the weekend behind bars.
He is facing charges of public violence, arson, and malicious damage to property, among others. The State did not oppose bail but prescribed an amount of R15,000 for bail, which his lawyer Wayne Gibbs told the court he could afford.
Meanwhile, Andre Pienaar, the first suspect arrested in the protest case escalated his bid last week after the Senekal Magistrate’s Court denied him bail. Pienaar is accused of firing gunshots in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court, setting a police van alight, and inciting a group of farmers to commit violence.
Judge Celeste Reinders ruled today that Pienaar should be released on bail of R15 000. During the appeal hearing, Pienaar’s legal team submitted that the magistrate failed to apply the presumption of innocent until proven guilty as enshrined in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the murder case of Horner will resume in the same local court on Tuesday 20 October and Thursday 22 October. Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa, aged 32 and 44 years respectively, will remain in custody until then.