Senekal witness receives threats 'from suspect's relative'
A brother-in-law of one of the two men accused of murdering Brendin Horner at a Paul Roux farm allegedly called and threatened one of the witnesses in the matter.
This was revealed during the bail application of Sekola Matlaletsa and Sekwetja Mahlamba in the Senekal magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Without revealing the name of the brother-in-law, Cpt Gerhardus Myburgh told the court while being cross examined that Matlaletsa’s brother-in-law allegedly threatened one of the witnesses.
He told the court that he did not wish to disclose the identity of the person who allegedly threatened the witness because investigations were currently at an early and sensitive stage.
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 (Qwa Qwa) 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.
Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of murdering Brendin Horner on October 2 and they were arrested a day later.
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.
Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of killing Horner who caught them while they allegedly tried to steal stock.
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.