'Why didn't they fetch me? I'm an old man': Father of slain Senekal farm manager speaks

Brendin Horner, 21, was found dead on a Free State farm on October 2.
Brendin Horner, 21, was found dead on a Free State farm on October 2.
Image: Facebook

“Why? Why didn't they come and fetch me? I'm an old man.”

These are the words of Robert Horner, father of slain Senekal farm manager Brendin Horner.

Robert spoke to eNCA on Sunday and expressed his disgust at the murder of his son.

He said he had been with Brendin on the night of his murder, after he had helped him with his car. He became concerned when he didn't return home hours later and feared that something bad had happened.

He described Brendin as a hard-working young man. 

“He was a poor guy, he was working for Gilly Scheepers. He didn't have money. He wanted to live a normal life.” 

Horner's body was found beaten, strangled and tied to a pole, 100m from his home. Police later nabbed two men after bloodied clothes were found which have since been taken for forensic testing.

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Horner's family last week to offer his condolences and hear safety concerns of farmers in the area. He was accompanied by state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo and admitted that more efforts were needed to ensure crime prevention.

Scheepers, the former employer of Horner as well as the family spokesperson, said he hoped the minister's visit would bring a much-needed turnaround for the community.

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

Both suspects, Sekwetje Isaiah Mahlamba and Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, appeared before the Senekal magistrate's court for the first time on October 6 and again on Friday last week for a bail application. 

The state prosecutor said the men may have made incriminating remarks about their alleged involvement in Horner's murder. He said the state had two witnesses who could attest to this. 

One of the witnesses allegedly submitted an affidavit to the police saying he had seen the pair at a tavern the day after Horner's murder. The witness said he overheard Matlaletsa tell a third person that he and Mahlamba “went to a farm and assaulted a white man who had disturbed you”, the prosecution said. 

The witness said the account made them believe the victim was Horner.

Mahlamba denied this and said he was with his girlfriend on the night of the murder. He told the court that the bloodstains found on his clothes and shoes were from a sheep he had slaughtered at a feast in September.

However, a second witness, identified by the state as Pinky, disputed that he was there. 


The 21-year-old girlfriend of murder accused, Skwetja Mahlamba, has proclaimed his innocence, alleging she had a solid alibi for where he was on the night farm manager Brendin Horner was murdered. Horner's body was found tied to a farm gate after he was killed by unknown attackers on October 2 2020.

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