Thandi Modise appeals to lawmakers: Help defuse racial tensions in SA

The National Assembly Speaker’s call came after an angry crowd stormed the Senekal Magistrate Court, where two men were appearing for the murder of local farm manager, Brendin Horner.

FILE: The Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise on 11 June 2019. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise on Thursday urged parliamentarians to step up the plate and help defuse racial tension in communities.

Modise’s call came after an angry crowd this week stormed the Senekal Magistrate Court, where two men were appearing for the murder of local farm manager, Brendin Horner.

A 52-year-old farmer was arrested on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in arson and vandalism of state property after a police vehicle was overturned and set alight.

Modise said racial tensions could not be allowed to escalate and called on public representatives to be alert to what is happening in towns and rural areas.

“Honourable, members we can’t allow for racial tensions to escalate. We really, really owe it to this country to be the people who temper high feelings, [who] give direction, who smooth things out and to give explanations,” she said.

Modise said public representatives should “be on their toes”.

“I don’t think what is beginning to happen in this country is good, I don’t think any of us want to see any escalation of racial tensions. So, we begin to really pray and fight for South Africa – and for South Africa to survive on all of these things.”

Modise was speaking at a meeting of the National Assembly’s programming committee.

Police have been criticised for failing to act during the riot at the Senekal court this week.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have indicated that they would be present when the two men arrested in connection with Horner’s murder reappear in court next week.

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