André Pienaar: Senekal businessman denied bail for role in protests

André Pienaar: Senekal businessman denied bail for role in protests

- André Pienaar, the businessman arrested following the Senekal protest, has been denied bail

- The magistrate preceding over the matter claimed that Pienaar wouldn't hesitate to use violence against anyone who came his way

- The judge also claimed that there is a risk that Pienaar may interfere with the police investigation

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The saga involving André Pienaar, the 51-year-old businessman arrested for his alleged role in the Senekal protest, has continued on Tuesday morning.

Magistrate Buti Mlangeni refused Pienaar bail after the man had earlier told the court that he had close relationships with the community.

Mlangeni pointed out that this was the same community he had allegedly attacked during the Free State unrest.

The magistrate felt that there was a real risk of Pienaar interfering with the police investigation into the matter.

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The businessman will be remanded in custody after being refused bail on Tuesday. Image: GovernmentZA/ Flickr
Source: UGC

TimesLIVE reported that Pienaar was accused of attacking a female police officer who had been executing her duty during the protest.

In Mlangeni's eyes, this showed that Pienaar wouldn't hesitate to use violence against anyone who gets in his way.

The personal details of possible witnesses to the incident was easily accessible and Mlangeni felt that Pienaar would easily be able to identify witnesses that may be able to help him get off the hook.

Pienaar's previous conviction, for theft, had seen him already having served three years in jail and further added to the decision to refuse bail.

Earlier, reported that Pienaar's arrest had come after immense political pressure to take action after the Senekal protests turned violent following the murder of a young farm manager.

Both Economic Freedom Fighter Julius Malema and Police Minister Bheki Cele had demanded arrests after a police vehicle was overturned and set alight by an enraged community.

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Speaking during a media briefing on the incident, Cele had questioned how one of the suspects allegedly involved in the murder had managed to walk free after a staggering 16 convictions.

The postponement of the murder trial, set to resume later this week, had angered the community who demanded that the suspects should be handed over to them.

The EFF is set to make an appearance at the next trial date after Malema had mobilised ground forces to help protect state property and justice.

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