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Farmer fights for freedom after he allegedly drove over two kids and assaulted another

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Two children, aged 10 and 12, were reportedly fighting for their lives in hospital after Grobler allegedly ran over them with his vehicle, and also allegedly assaulted a 13-year-old.

The Ermelo Magistrate’s Court remanded 41-year-old farmer Louis Johannes Grobler in custody earlier this week after he was arrested on charges of attempted murder and assault. Picture: Screengrab/Newzroom Afrika

Tensions are running high outside the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga where 41-year-old farmer Louis Johannes Grobler is pushing to be released on bail after he was arrested on charges of attempted murder and assault.

Community members have been attending the court sessions, protesting outside the court. The community members, some affiliated to political parties, have been urging the court to deny Grobler’s application for bail.

The matter was postponed on Wednesday to today, with the farmer remaining in custody.

Two children, aged 10 and 12, were reportedly fighting for their lives in hospital after Grobler allegedly ran over them with his vehicle at his farm in Ermelo. He also allegedly assaulted a 13-year-old.

On Wednesday, during Grobler’s second appearance, community members said that the incident was racially motivated.

At the time, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the 41-year-old had allegedly accused the children of theft on his farm.

The incident was said to have occurred on Friday, July 15, at about 2pm, Mdhluli said.

Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has condemned the incident.

Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe said if Grobler was found guilty he must face the maximum sentence, as a deterrent to other farmers.

He also appealed to community members who may have information relevant to the case to come forward and assist the police.

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