The two men accused of murdering farm manager Brendin Horner allegedly boasted about assaulting a white man on a farm, according to witnesses. Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa appeared in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning where they formally applied for bail.
Amid a heavy police presence in court, Minister of Police Bheki Cele, Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo, EFF leader Julius Malema, and his deputy Floyd Shivambu were also in court.
Taking the stand, Mahlamba told the court that he knew nothing about Horner’s murder and that he was with his girlfriend on the night Horner was murdered on a farm in Paul Roux in the eastern Free State.
Horner was murdered on Thursday evening on 1 October and his body found the following morning.
Mahlamba further claimed that the blood stains on the trousers the police found when they arrested him came from a sheep that he slaughtered at a festival he attended last month.
Mahlamba told the court that he was never informed by police about the charges he faced and how he was linked to the murder. The State prosecutor, during cross examination, told the court that Mahlamba did not attend the festival according to a witness who hosted the event.
It was further placed on record that an affidavit under oath by Mahlamba’s girlfriend was obtained and she refuted assertions that he was with her the entire evening. The State had another witness that claimed to have seen Mahlamba and Matlaletsa coming from the direction of the farm where Horner was killed on the morning of 2 October, and that both accused had bloodstained clothes.
Another witness told the State that he saw both accused at a tavern in Paul Roux in the late afternoon on 2 October. The witness said that Mahlamba boasted about assaulting a white man on a farm. Another witness is said to have spoken to Matlaletsa who allegedly boasted about the same attack and gave details of the assault.
The details matched the attack on Horner which led police to arrest both accused. Matlaletsa, who applied for bail via an affidavit read out by his legal aid attorney, told the court that he would be pleading not guilting and chose his right to remain silent on the merits of the case.
He further testified that he has two previous convictions for stock theft and one conviction for illegally buying a pig. Both accused told the court that they were not employed full time, with Matlaletsa surviving and supporting his family on a disability grant, and Mahlamba doing odd jobs. The bail application continues.