Brendin Horner murder: accused found not guilty of all charges

‘Lies and contradictions’ in evidence of state witnesses

Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetje Mahlamba were found not guilty on all charges related to the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner. File photo.
Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetje Mahlamba were found not guilty on all charges related to the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner. File photo.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Two men accused of the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner were on Friday found not guilty on all charges by the Free State High Court sitting in Bethlehem.

Sekwetje Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, were facing charges of murder, robbery and stock theft.

Horner’s body was found tied to a farm gate after he was killed by unknown attackers on October 2 2020. The death outraged agricultural leaders and community members from Senekal and surrounding areas who demanded justice.

Horner had injuries on his head and face and was tied with a rope around his neck to the gate. Police seized a knife at the scene.

His blood-stained Toyota Hilux bakkie was later found abandoned near Duikfontein Farm in Paul Roux.

Delivering judgment on Friday, judge Cagney Musi said there were contradictions and lies in the evidence of state witnesses.

“The versions of the witnesses were fraught with improbabilities and plain lies. It is difficult to decipher a coherent version from the evidence of the witnesses,” Musi said.

He said there was no credible basis on which the men could be convicted.

“Even an attempt to pick any of the version fails dismally. I have doubt in my mind that the accused were on the mountain. They are both entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

“Both accused are discharged and found not guilty on all counts,” the judge said.

This week the state conceded it did not have a strong case against the two men.

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