PHOTO: Alex Mitchley/News24
The case against the two men accused of murdering Free State farm manager Brendin Horner has been postponed again as investigations are still outstanding, this more than three months after they were arrested.
Sekwetje Mahlamba, 32, and Sekola Matlaletsa, 44, appeared in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning, where the matter was postponed to 30 March for further investigation.
This, according to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Free State spokesperson Phaladi Shuping.
The matter has been postponed three times since the outcome of their bail application, near the end of October 2020.
Matlaletsa was briefly released on bail on 23 October after the Senekal Magistrate’s Court found that the State did not have a strong case against him, and that he would not interfere with witnesses in the investigation.
READ | Bloodstains, witnesses - bail application gives insight into case against Brendin Horner murder accused
However, three days later, he was rearrested and charged with stock theft alongside his murder co-accused, Mahlamba, who was denied bail in the Horner case.
Shuping said Mahlamba was subsequently charged with two counts of rape and two counts of kidnapping.
Mahlamba approached the Free State High Court to appeal the decision, but his application was dismissed.
Both accused are currently in custody.
Horner, a 21-year-old farm manager, was strangled to death on a farm in Paul Roux on 1 October. His body was discovered the following day.
News24 previously reported that he had had several stab wounds, as well as abrasions to his thigh, which indicated that he had been dragged across a gravel road.
His body was found tied to the bottom of a fence pole just metres from the gate to the house he and his girlfriend lived in, on the farm where he worked.
Both Mahlamba and Matlaletsa denied any wrongdoing and informed the court that they intended to plead not guilty.
They also told the court they had alibis, saying that they were with their partners on the night of the murder.
READ | Brendin Horner murder trial: Allegations of death threats, bribes and police involvement aired during bail application
However, during the bail application, the State presented evidence that Mahlamba's girlfriend conceded that when she woke up during the night, he was gone and that he only returned the following morning.
Matlaletsa's wife gave police an affidavit stating that he was with her the entire night.
The State also said they have independent witnesses who overheard the two accused bragging about assaulting a white man on a farm.
A third witness allegedly saw the two men coming from the direction of the farm on the same morning that Horner’s body was found.
Bloodstained clothes were also found at Mahlamba’s house when he was arrested.
EXPLAINER | What the State and defence have argued in the Brendin Horner murder case