WATCH | One of Horner's accused was arrested 'as collateral' claims girlfriend

Two men who are alleged to have killed farm manager Brendin Horner gave an oral submission and pleaded not guilty when appearing in court on Friday morning.

Maleqhoa Sithole, the girlfriend of co-accused Skwetja Mahlamba, spoke to SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE on Thursday afternoon ahead of the court appearance — and said Mahlamba had an alibi: he was with her the night he was alleged to have killed Horner.

Sithole also said that Mahlamba's co-accused, Sekola Piet Matlaletsa, was with them that night at the local Faku tavern, having a few drinks “I will continue to support him. I believe he’s innocent. I was with him on Thursday night.”

The 21-year-old said when the police arrived at the tavern “it seemed like he was not their initial target”. She says the police arrested co-accused Matlaletsa first, when Mahlamba asked what his friend had done and the police said “since you are his friend let's go with you as well”.

The two men have been rumoured to be involved in stock theft in the community, a rumour which Sithole said she was aware of. Police suspect that Horner had bumped into the two accused while they were attempting to steal livestock.

Sithole's mother, Madibuseng Tsoenyane, 44, who was managed by Horner on Gilly Scheeper's farm, spoke of Horner as a humble man who treated workers well on the farm.

Tsoenyane expressed her distress about the situation, confronting her daughter about that night: “Tell me the truth, has this boy actually done it?” She recalled arriving at work the following morning, unaware of the incident.

“We found the cap the boy used to wear with his uniform and a knife.” When they tried to look further they were stopped by Scheepers's son.

The pair will appear on Tuesday morning in Senekal magistrate's court.