Brendin Horner murder trial postponed again as 2 accused apply for bail

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Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, and Sekwetje Mahlamba 32, the men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner.
Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, and Sekwetje Mahlamba 32, the men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner.
Alex Mitchley/News24
  • The two men accused of murdering Free State farm manager Brendin Horner are expected to apply for bail for a second time based on new facts.
  • Horner, 21, was strangled to death on the farm where he worked in Paul Roux on 1 October last year.
  • Both accused have said they intend pleading not guilty. 

The two men accused of murdering Free State farm manager Brendin Horner in October last year are expected to apply for bail on new facts.

Sekwetje Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, appeared in the Senekal Magistrate's Court on Friday, where the matter was postponed to Tuesday 8 June for their new bail application.

This is the seventh postponement since the outcome of the accused's bail application near the end of October 2020.

News24 previously reported that Matlaletsa was briefly released on bail on 23 October after the Senekal Magistrate's Court found that the State did not have a strong case against him and that he would not interfere with witnesses.

READ | Bloodstains, witnesses - bail application gives insight into case against Brendin Horner murder accused

Three days later, however, he was rearrested and charged with stock theft alongside his murder co-accused, Mahlamba, who was denied bail in the Horner case.

At the time, the National Prosecuting Authority said that Mahlamba was also charged with two counts of rape and two counts of kidnapping in separate, unrelated cases.

Mahlamba then approached the Free State High Court to appeal the decision, but his application was dismissed.

Murder

The 21-year-old Horner was strangled to death on the farm where he worked in Paul Roux on 1 October. His body was discovered the following day by his colleagues.

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

His 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.

Mahlamba and Matlaletsa were arrested soon after Horner's body was discovered. 

They told the court that they intended pleading not guilty.

They also claimed to have alibis, saying they were with their partners on the night of the murder.

EXPLAINER | What the State and defence have argued in the Brendin Horner murder case

However, during the bail application, the State presented evidence that Mahlamba's girlfriend had conceded that when she woke up during the night, he was gone and only returned the following morning.

Free State farm manager Brandin Horner
Farm manager, Brendin Horner.

Matlaletsa's wife gave the police an affidavit stating that he was with her the entire night.

The State also said it had independent witnesses who had overheard the two accused bragging about assaulting a white man on a farm.

A third witness allegedly saw the two men coming from the direction of the farm on the same morning that Horner's body was found.

Bloodstained clothes were also found at Mahlamba's house when he was arrested.

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