Video: Heavy police presence outside court on Groblersdal

Henry

The police in Limpopo descended on Groblersdal in Limpopo on Wednesday where a father and son, who are accused of assaulting one of their workers, are expected to submit a bail application.

Piet Groenewald and his stepson, Stephan Greeff, from Wildlife Investigations & Protection Services (WIPS) stand trial on charges of attempted murder.

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

Father and son briefly appeared in court on Friday, where their case was adjourned until today.

The incident was allegedly preceded by an altercation at Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga. According to the police in Limpopo, Kavari worked at a mobile phone tower. He was accused of being drunk. After this, he was allegedly taken back to WIPS’ office on Groblersdal, where an exchange of words apparently arose between Kavari, Greeff and Groenewald.

Elmarie Groenewald, Piet’s wife, said in a video on social media that Kavari was drunk and smashed his radio. According to her, Kavari was only in WIPS’ service for a week.

Kavari apparently fought with Piet and also made a live video broadcast of the incident.

Reports that Kavari and four other EFF members, who apparently came to Kavari’s rescue, had been arrested and charged could not be immediately confirmed.

RNews asked the provincial police spokespersons in Limpopo and Mpumalanga about this. Their feedback will be updated as soon as it is received.

Ali Maloba, EFF regional chairman for the Sekukhune district in Limpopo, confirmed that four of his members were arrested last week.

Maloba says the members visited WIPS’ office in Groblersdal after they were asked to assist one of their “comrades who is in trouble”.

According to Maloba, they were initially denied entry. The members were able to help Kavari and after this also put pressure on the local police to file a case, says Maloba.

He condemned the incident and also confirmed that members of the EFF in Limpopo will protest at the court on Wednesday.

Other pressure groups, such as the Bittereinders, have also indicated on social media that their members will protest peacefully at the court.

Willem Petzer, an activist against farm killings, also asked his supporters to go to court.

He, together with the Bittereinders’ supporters, gathered early at a gas station in the town. There were already a handful of people shortly after 07:00.

A heavy police presence was also maintained from early morning. The street in front of the court was cordoned off with police jackets and strict access control was applied.