Video: Bittereinder man in handcuffs at court

Henry

Francois van der Merwe, a member of the Bittereinders movement, was arrested on Wednesday at the Groblersdal Magistrate’s Court after he allegedly assaulted a police officer.

Maj. Gen. Jan Scheepers, acting police chief in Limpopo, confirmed outside the court that Van der Merwe will be charged with assault.

Supporters of the Bittereinders and residents of Groblersdal arrived with flags and banners at the court where Piet Groenewald and his stepson, Stephan Greeff, appeared on Wednesday. The two are accused of assaulting an employee of their security company.

The court appearance was preceded by an exchange of words between the Bittereinders’ Van der Merwe and some police officers who were deployed at the court.

The police negotiated with the group of protesters and asked them to walk around the court. At one stage, Van der Merwe and other members pushed past the cones and parked police cars.

Van der Merwe was pulled down by a group of police officers while he shouted “freedom for the Boerevolk!”.

He was then taken inside the court to the holding cells.

The Bittereinders sent a delegation to the police station to file a counter-charge of assault against the police officer in question.

Groenewald and Greeff were arrested on Thursday after they allegedly assaulted Veneruru Kavari (30), a WIPS security guard. Kavari claims he was hit with a heavy object while a dog was apparently also incited to attack him.