Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of murdering Brendin Horner on October 2.

Senekal murder case witness gets death threats

Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetja Mahlamba in a dock at the Senekal magistrates court. The pair face charges of murder for the killing of farm manager Brendin Horner.
Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetja Mahlamba in a dock at the Senekal magistrates court. The pair face charges of murder for the killing of farm manager Brendin Horner.
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

The investigating officer in the murder of a Paul Roux farm manager has told the court that one of the witnesses in the matter will need to be placed under a witness protection programme after she received death threats. 

Cpt Gerhardus Myburgh, who took to the stand on Tuesday morning in the bail hearing of Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetja Mahlamba told the court that the witness was told that they would not be alive by December. 

Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of murdering Brendin Horner on October 2. 

Before the hearing resumed, Myburgh said he had received a call from the witness who told him that she had received death threats over the weekend. 

“Yesterday morning I got a call from the witness. She raised a concern that she was in Phutaditjhaba for a funeral on Saturday and received threats that if she continued to give statements to police her life would be in danger and she wouldn’t see December,” Myburgh told the court.

“We are concerned for her safety and we are working towards getting her into a witness protection programme,” Myburgh said. 

Police had at least two witnesses who placed the accused at the scene. One said she saw them, along with a third unidentified man, walking from the same direction where Horner’s bakkie was later found abandoned. One of them had bloodstained clothes.

Another claimed to have heard them casually discussing the murder at a local tavern, even showing off a wallet and cellphone that they had reportedly taken from Horner.

Myburgh said Horner’s wallet was yet to be found.

He said when the pair was arrested on October 3, a day after Horner’s murder, they were found to have slight abrasions on their elbows.

Myburgh told the court that blood analysis would  confirm whether the blood samples taken from the scene linked them to the crime.  

Horner’s lifeless body had been tied to a fence and he had a rope around his neck. He had been repeatedly stabbed on the head, shoulder, arm and his hands.

He also had cuts on his right thigh, leading police to believe he had been dragged on the gravel road. His post-mortem revealed he died of strangulation.  

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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