Magistrate in Horne murder case urges state to expedite investigations

Magistrate in Horne murder case urges state to expedite investigations

Skekwetje Mahlamba has been remanded in custody while his co-accused in the Horne murder is out on bail.

The duo appeared before the Senekal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Sekola Matlaletsa has been granted R5 000 bail.

After reading an alibi witness’ submission before court, Magistrate  Deon van Rooyen said: “Other than what is currently on the police docket at this juncture, there is no evidence that links applicant number two to the commission of the crimes he is charged with. The results of the DNA swaps that were taken from the inside and the outside of the bakkie of the deceased, are inconclusive in as far as it relates to him.”

Magistrate van Rooyen believes it is in the interest of justice to release Matlaletsa.

He says he is not a flight risk nor will he interfere with witnesses.

Matlaletsa will have to report to a local police station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Magistrate van Rooyen believes Mahlamba has “some explanation to do on why he left home in the middle of the night and returned the next morning.”

The fact that his girlfriend is a key witness in the matter and that he lied about his presence in the shack where a bloodied pair of pants were found by investigators are other factors for Mahlamba’s bail denial.

The Magistrate has urged the state to expedite the matter. He also appealed to the Police Minister Bheki Cele to use his influence of his office to ensure that the case is finalised timeously and the accused’s right to a speedy trial is realised.

The case will return to court on the 1st of December.

Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of killing Brendin Horne on October 1.

His body was found the next day at a farm by his father and a colleague.

Horne’s death sparked racial tensions in the small Free State town.

The first appearance of the accused was marked with violence.

Attacks weary farmers and community members stormed the court building and torching a police van, among other things.

Two men are being prosecuted for that incident.

Senekal court riot-accused granted bail

Senekal court riot-accused granted bail

The two men charged for the violence that broke out at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court two weeks ago will return to court next month.

They were both granted R15 000 bail on Monday.

Stephen Fourie appeared at the magistrate’s court after being arrested on Friday.

He has been charged with public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

His co-accused was also released on R15 000 bail after petitioning the High Court in Bloemfontein.

Andre Pienaar escalated his quest for freedom to the court after Magistrate Buti Mlangeni rejected his bid, citing concerns of him possibly interfering with witnesses.

The two will appear before the Senekal Magistrate’s Court together when the case resumes on the 20th of November.

The state says they were part of a group of locals who gathered at the court when the alleged killers of 21-year-old farm manager, Brendin Horner, first appeared.

The locals torched a police vehicle, allegedly fired shots inside court and damaged a section of the courthouse when chaos broke out.

The state intends using a doctrine of common purpose in prosecuting the two.

Second suspect nabbed for last week’s Senekal court violence

Second suspect nabbed for last week’s Senekal court violence

A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection with last week’s chaos at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.

He is a second suspect in the violence that erupted at the court when the two men accused of killing 21-year-old farm manager, Brendin Horner, first appeared in court.

Police Ministry spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, announced the news last night in a tweet.

The arrest happened on the same day Sekwetje Mahlamba (32) and Sekola Matlaletsa (44) made their second appearance in court to apply for bail.

The matter has been postponed to Tuesday, where the investigating officer is expected to be cross-examined.

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, the Police Minister Bheki Cele and EFF leader Julius Malema attended the court proceedings, which were marked by tensions between rival protesting groups.

DA Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille was also in Senekal in support of farmers, who are frustrated by farm murders.

Tensions run high in Senekal as the Horne trial gets underway

Tensions run high in Senekal as the Horne trial gets underway

Tensions are running high in Senekal where two men are appearing for the murder of farm manager, Brendin Horne.

Horne was found murdered two weeks ago at a farm, which he managed.

Economic Freedom Fighters, community members, AfriForum and farmers are gathered around the local magistrate’s court.

A former South African Defence Force member has warned against those trying to instigate war, telling Newzroom Afrika that those who want war will have it.

The South African Human Rights Commission has meanwhile called for calm.

“The Commission demands that the constitutional right to protest be exercised within the ambit of the Constitution and the law. Thus all particpants in protest action must exercise this right unarmed and peacefully,” it says in a statement.

Police are monitoring the situation.

All eyes on Senekal on eve of Horner murder case’s return to court

All eyes on Senekal on eve of Horner murder case’s return to court

The small town of Senekal in the Free State is a hive of activity as police gear up for any eventuality during the appearance of the two suspects in the murder of 21-year-old Brendin Horner.

Earlier this month, Horner was found tied with a rope around his neck to a pole and had injuries to his head and face.

Violence erupted during the appearance of the two suspects last week Tuesday, with Afrikaner community members in the area storming a courthouse in a bid to take the law into their hands.

Businessman Andre Pienaar was arrested for public violence following the chaotic scenes, which led to a police van and parts of the Sekenal Magistrate’s Court being set alight.

Pienaar is petitioning the High Court in Bloemfontein to release him on bail after the magistrate’s court remanded him in custody on Tuesday.

Senekal community members, concerned over the racial tensions the Horner case has sparked, held a mass prayer on Thursday.

Speaking to Joburg’s Eyewitness News, local pastor John Mathuhle said they hope tomorrow’s planned march will be peaceful.

“We know that it is everyone’s right to come and march; we just hope and pray that it won’t be something that will be confrontational. I just feel like everyone is tired of the killings that are happening in our country but we hope it will not spill into war. That’s why we are here to pray to say it will not start in Senekal. Civil war will not start in Senekal,” he said.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and his Intelligence counterpart Minister Ayanda Dlodo this week also visited the area to quell tensions.

Cele said he would be attending tomorrow’s court appearance.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ members have also begun descending on the town.

Party leader Julius Malema will be leading tomorrow’s march.

He has told Newzroom Afrika that they will be defending South Africa’s democracy.

“We are not going to Senekal to sympathise with a thug, we are going to Senekal to protect our democracy, our constitution which is under threat by racist terrorist farmers who go and attack a court of law.”

About Senekal

According to South Africa’s accommodation guide, SA Venues, travellers are fond of Senekal, a little town in the east of Free State.

The digital platform cites the area as a popular spot in which to retire.

Houses are also said to be affordable to buy.

The area is also said to be one of the most underdeveloped towns in the Free State

Senekal man accused of inciting court unrest denied bail

Senekal man accused of inciting court unrest denied bail

The man accused of public violence in Senekal, in the Free State, has been denied bail.

Magistrate Buti Mlangeni cited the possibility of him interfering with police investigations as one of the reasons for his decision.

Andre Pienaar appeared in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court today.  

He was arrested last week after allegedly encouraging protesters to storm the courthouse and attack two accused who had been appearing there.

Amid the chaos, a police van was overturned and set alight by the angry crowd.

The suspect faces charges of attempted murder, malicious damage to property and public violence.

He has told court that he suffers from bipolar and takes chronic medication.

Pienaar’s case will return to court on November 20.

A state witness has accused him of having threatened and throttled a female police officer who tried preventing the protesters from entering court.

The group had been demanding justice for murdered 21-year-old local farm manager, Brendin Horner.  

Police Minister Bheki Cele and his State Security counterpart Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will visit his family this afternoon.

The duo also plans on meeting with organised farming structures in the area in a bid to quell simmering tensions caused by Horner’s murder.