Tensions rose and a standoff ensued between members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and protesting residents outside the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 19 April 2021.
Piet Retief protests: What we know
Tear gas was used to disperse crowds outside the courthouse. This follows after five men accused of murdering two men made their second appearance.
Two residents from the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality situated in the Gert Sibande District of Mpumalanga were reportedly killed by farmers on Friday, 9 April 2021.
Watch: Piet Retief protests
The bail application in the case of the killing of two farm workers in Mkhondo has been adjourned and will continue tomorrow at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga. For more, our reporter, @mwelimasilela has the details.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) April 19, 2021
The Coka killings
The brothers – Zenzele and Mgcini Coka – were reportedly killed while trying to help other residents.
At the time, Volksrust Online Radio (VOR) reported that the brothers were “brutally killed by farm owners where they were trying to rescue other members of the community who came to look for a job”.
Volksrust Online Radio explained at the time that residents seeking employment “were beaten as the farmer stated he does not need people of this area to work for him”.
According to VOR, Mgcini and Zenzele were “gunned down”. Photos from the scene can be viewed here. Do note: These images are graphic, viewer discretion is advised.
#Unrest Situation earlier today in Piet Retief after the Court case of Two farmers. Protesters turned violent and throw @SAPoliceService with stones. @BOSBEER2006 @1SecondLater @MARIUSBROODRYK @News24 pic.twitter.com/TfHGid6ewX
— BOSBEER.COM (@BOSBEER2006) April 19, 2021