Groblersdal: Petzer and Wessels surrender to the police


The activists Willem Petzer and Tewie Wessels are expected to hand themselves in to the police in Groblersdal on Monday morning.

Reports that another co-director of the Bittereinders would be arrested on Monday could not be immediately confirmed. Petzer confirmed in a video early this morning that he was going to report to the police station in Groblersdal.

Two weeks ago, Petzer and Wessels were part of a demonstration outside the magistrate’s court in Groblersdal where Piet Groenewald (63) and Stephan Greeff (27) appeared. They are accused of assaulting a worker and allegedly unleashing a security dog ​​on him.

Piet Groenewald, Stephan Greeff, assault, Groblersdal, demonstrations,

Also read: Groblersdal: Videos shown in court of ‘attack’ on worker

About 100 protesters, mostly from the Bittereinders movement, descended on the town with the Transvaals Vierkleur of the then Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, to demand their release. The marchers and police members clashed and Francois van der Merwe, a leader of the Bittereinders, was arrested.

Petzer, Wessels and a resident of the town are expected to appear in court today together with Van der Merwe (24).

Also read: Bittereinder man’s bail application continues

‘We are looking for our town back’

RNews spoke to several police officers, residents and lawyers in the town and they all agreed: “We are looking for our town back”.

“Had it not been for the Bittereinders, this case (of Groenewald and Greeff) would have been settled and everything would have returned to normal,” said several Groblersdallers, on condition of anonymity.

Because even though the demonstration started peacefully, Groblersdallers have now been left with the hot potato after the Bittereinders chipped away after the first demonstration when one of their directors was arrested.

Residents are particularly fed up with weekly protests and heavy police presence in the town.

Last week, hundreds of protesters from the EFF and ANC youth league, among others, arrived and demanded that bail be denied for Groenewald and Greeff. Businesses were forced to close.

RNews has confirmed that local security structures have been put on high alert, and residents have been advised against coming to the Groblersdal Mall.

Residents were also angry because no action was taken against these protesters.


“We are also afraid, because no one knows what to expect with the next court sessions,” said another resident.

Llewellyn Hemmens, AfriForum’s head of security in the North region, believes there is no racial tension in Groblersdal.

“There are indeed elements that move in from outside and abuse the situation for cheap politics. Then the attention is taken away from the real issue – poor police support in the town.”

Reuben Madadzhe, the ANC’s provincial secretary for Limpopo, said outside the court that the protest was to ensure that justice would be done.

“There is no place for racists here, there are still a few good people in the country, we are here for one of our own… not all white people are racists, there are still a few good people in the country.”

Bheki Cele and Ronald Lamola, ministers of police and justice and correctional services respectively, also visited the town and criticized the Bittereinders’ use of the Vierkleur.

Bittereinders would apparently bring weapons to court

According to the Bittereinders Petzer and Wessels, it was decided to protest “because of the right that had to succumb to injustice”. They referred to EFF members who arrived at the police station and insisted on Greeff and Groenewald’s arrest. Some of their members have already appeared in court and have been released on bail.

Also read: Groblersdal: Bail for protesting EFF members

After this, the Bittereinders and their supporters were asked by Petzer, Wessels and Van der Merwe in social media posts to “march to Groblersdal”. This despite the fact that both Greeff and Groenewald indicated in their affidavits that “they did not invite any organization(s) to protest on their behalf for bail”.

Also read: Father, stepson of Groblersdal in custody for alleged ‘assault’

“We are going to fly the Four Colors, and we are going to draw a line and say ‘bring our comrades or we will not move’. We have a point to make, and this Wednesday we are going to make it,” Van der Merwe said.

During his bail application, it came to light that the protesters had malicious intentions. “The Bittereinders’ mission was to occupy the town by force as the EFF did the week before.”

According to this statement from which Sgt. Japie Skasana testified, some of the protesters would try to bring concealed weapons into the town.

“Information indicated that the Bittereinders would storm the court with violence if Groenewald and Greeff were denied bail… they would also physically confront the police and other protesters,” the statement said.