Three Afrikaners Summoned to Court for ‘Public Violence’ After Largely Peaceful Groblersdal Protest

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

Three Boer Rights activists, Tewie Wessels, Devon Hofmeyer and William Petzer were summoned to appear in the Groblersdal District Court in Limpopo on Saturday on ‘public violence’ charges. The men attended a protest outside the Court on January 24th in support of Piet Groenewald and his stepson Stefan who were facing charges for the alleged attempted murder of Venururu Kavari, an employee of their business, Wildlife Investigation and Protection Services (WIPS). 


Groenewald and his stepson claimed that they arrived at the employee’s location and found him to be drunk, Groenewald then took him back to the WIPS office in Groblersdal where the employee alleges he was hit on the head with a heavy object before having a dog set loose on him. 

Initially a charge of attempted grievous bodily harm was raised, but was then changed to a charge of attempted murder. 

Farmers from around the area gathered to support Groenewald and his stepson, as they claim a charge of attempted murder was unnecessary due to the fact that the Kavari recovered swiftly from his alleged injuries. 

Hofmeyer, Petzer, and Wessels have stated they plan to apply for bail, while the state has made it clear it plans to oppose the applications.

The Details:

The only arrest of the January 24 protest was that of Francois van der Merwe, leader of the Betereinders (better ends) movement, who was accused of assaulting a police officer. 

Francois van der Merwe arrested by police outside Groblersdal Court

The History: 

Farm murders and farm attacks are prominent in South Africa, oftentimes, white farmers are brutally tortured and raped, sometimes for hours, before being killed by the attackers. 

Boer (meaning farmer in afrikaans) movements have been created in protest to these attacks which are largely ignored by the state. Additionally, with political parties such as Julius Malema’s EFF advocating for the ‘killing and burning of the Boer’ at political rallies which are attended by thousands of supporters, the white minority in the country claim they are coming increasingly under threat. 

Earlier in 2020, farmers attended a protest outside a Senekal Court where two suspected attackers of Brendin Horner, a 21 year old farmer who was tortured before being strung up on a metal pole and a rope tied around his neck, were being held. 

Furthermore, in October 2023, four attackers were charged in a Western Cape Court for the brutal torture and killing of farmer Jurie Wynand Wessels and his wife. 

The court’s public prosecutor read that “the accused tortured the deceased and his wife by stabbing them. They poured boiling water over the victims, attempted to cut off the deceased’s wife’s fingers with a grinder and when the deceased and his wife prayed, cried, or talked to each other, they would be punched in the mouth.”

In these cases, suspects were arrested and charged, but there are hundreds of attacks and murders of farmers of all ethnicities in the nation which go unsolved. 

Additionally, the summoning to court of Hofmeyer, Wessels, and Petzer indicate the states willingness to clamp down on freedom of speech and movement, which is a worrying development as the nation prepares for an election in the coming months.