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.

As reported by Capricorn FM News, the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court postponed the bail application of the five men accused to Tuesday, 20 April 2021.

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 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 hereDo note: These images are graphic, viewer discretion is advised.

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Presh JM Reporter

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