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Bheki Cele consoles Brendin Horner's family

Iavan Pijoos Journalist
Farm manager Brendin Horner's body was found tied to a farm gate after he was murdered.
Farm manager Brendin Horner's body was found tied to a farm gate after he was murdered.
Image: Facebook

Police minister Bheki Cele says he understands the arrest of suspects for the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner is cold comfort for his mourning family - and that more work on crime prevention is needed.

Cele, accompanied by state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo and high-ranking officers in the Free State, visited Horner's family at their home just outside Paul Roux on Tuesday afternoon.

Cele said the team received a welcome reception from the Horner family.

"We know two people have been arrested, but that is no comfort for the mother who lost a son of 21 years," he said.

"It will always help if we work harder on prevention rather than reaction because even if those guys get life sentences, that young man won't come back.

"It looks like he was very promising and [would have] had a lot of potential to grow."

Horner's former employer Gilly Scheepers, acting as a spokesperson for the family, thanked Cele and those in attendance for the visit.

“We really hope this will be the turning point in the tension in this area,” she said.

21-year-old Brendin Horner was found brutally killed near Paul Roux in the Free State on October 2 2020. While two suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing, investigations are ongoing. MultimediaLIVE takes a closer look at the young farmer's death which has caused chasms in the local community.

Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, 44, appeared in the Senekal magistrate's court last Tuesday in connection with Horner's murder. They are due back in court on Friday.

On Tuesday this week, a businessman accused of involvement in protest action at the court was denied bail.

On Monday, Cele said one of the murder suspects had 16 previous arrests for crimes including stock theft and robbery, and the other suspect had been arrested twice before.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Jennifer Ntlatseng said the police watchdog would send a team to Senekal to investigate reports of police involvement in livestock theft.

Cele confirmed on Tuesday that alleged police involvement in stock theft would be investigated.

He said a follow-up meeting will be arranged to address concerns raised by the community of Paul Roux and surrounds.

Cele is meeting organised farming structures in an attempt to “quell the simmering tensions” in the area.


Andre Pienaar was denied bail after he appeared briefly in the Senekal magistrate's court on October 13 2020. The 51-year-old construction business owner was accused of inciting a group of farmers to burn a police van after the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner. Pienaar was charged with public violence, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

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