Brendin Horner case: State drops murder charge against accused

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Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, and Sekwetje Mahlamba 32, the men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner, will now only be charged with the theft of two sheep.
Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, and Sekwetje Mahlamba 32, the men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner, will now only be charged with the theft of two sheep.
Alex Mitchley/News24
  • The two men accused of killing Brendin Horner will now only face a theft charge. 
  • The State conceded it has no case in respect of murder. 
  • Horner was strangled to death on the farm, where he worked.

The men accused of murdering 21-year-old Brendin Horner will now only be charged with the theft of two sheep after the State conceded it had no case against them in respect of murder.

According to Eyewitness News, prosecutor advocate Jacque Harrington said he still believed Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetje Mahlamba have a stock theft case to answer to.

Horner was strangled to death on the farm where he worked. His body was discovered the following day by colleagues.

News24 previously reported he was stabbed several times and had abrasions on his thigh, which seemed to indicate he had been dragged across a gravel road.

READ | Brendin Horner suspects 'boasted about assaulting white man on farm'

Horner's body was found tied to the bottom of a fence pole, metres from the gate to the house where he and his girlfriend lived on the farm.

Free State National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phaladi Shuping previously told News24 the court accepted the new facts, which include the DNA results not linking the accused to the commission of the crime.

It was initially reported Horner was killed in the early hours of 2 October, but the State said it found he was murdered between 19:00 and 20:00 on 1 October.

Free State farm manager Brandin Horner
Brendin Horner.

News24 previously reported bloodstained clothes had been found in Mahlamba's house when he was arrested.

He had claimed the blood was from an animal he had slaughtered for a traditional ceremony.

However, the State said it had witness testimony that Mahlamba had not attended the ceremony.

The bloodstained clothes, Horner's hat, a knife found at the scene and the rope used to strangle the 21-year-old farm manager were taken for forensic analysis.

It had emerged none of the DNA matches either of the accused, nor did the blood on Mahlamba's clothes match that of Horner, Shuping confirmed at the time.

DNA samples taken from Horner's bakkie could also not be linked to the two men accused of murdering him on the farm in Paul Roux.

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