Brendin Horner murder, Brackenfell saga dredge up SA's ugly apartheid past

Government has admitted that the state of race relations in the country remains fragile, with President Cyril Ramaphosa saying that while South Africa may have come a long way from the days of institutionalised racism, for many, reconciliation is something they are yet to experience.

FILE: Farmers outside the Senekal Magistrates Court on 16 October 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Events in the small farming town of Senekal in the Free State this year have put the spotlight on South Africa’s ugly past of apartheid and racism.

Government has admitted that the state of race relations in the country remains fragile, with President Cyril Ramaphosa saying that while South Africa may have come a long way from the days of institutionalised racism, for many, reconciliation is something they are yet to experience.

The murder of 19-year-old farm manager, Brendin Horner, shook Senekal and the country at large, prompting the farming community to protest.

What started as a campaign for justice after the teenager's death fast became a platform for racist slurs and attacks.

SCENES FROM SENEKAL: EFF, ANC and farmers protest outside court

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, gathered his followers and the red berets descended on the small Free State town.

"We are here to fight and die against apartheid because South Africa still has apartheid."

But despite a standoff between farmers and the EFF, it was a rather peaceful day in Senekal.

A few weeks later, racism reared its ugly head again, this time at a Cape Town high school.

Brackenfell High came under fire after a private matric function was held, with only white pupils and their parents invited.

The EFF held protests outside the school.

GALLERY: EFF return to Brackenfell High for anti-racism protest

This is what a white party supporter, 21-year-old Jack Markovitz, had to say.

"I think they yearned for a party. I think they used neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and PPA and private security to organise the party in their neigbourhoods. This exists in every single white neigbourhood in the country. I think we should be taking this protest to Clifton and Houghton Park where the R20 million houses are. I think Brackenfell, there's not enough money here. These poor whites are angry and violent and they're bored with their life. We need to take it where the rich people have money and still making money off that land, which is all generational wealth passed down from their parents."

President Ramaphosa said that these events in 2020 showed that old wounds remained and reconciliation was yet to be achieved in South Africa.

WATCH: EFF dispersed with stun grenades and water cannons at Brackenfell

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.