The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Free State spokesperson Phaladi Shuping says they are optimistic that they have a water-tight case against the two men accused of the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.
Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa were arrested earlier this month following Horner’s murder. They appeared in the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Friday to apply for bail and their case was postponed to next week.
The court heard that Mahlamba’s clothes had blood when police arrested him. The suspect said that at the time of the murder, he was at a traditional ceremony.
Shuping says they have a compelling case against the accused.
“We have compelling evidence against the accused and we are not convinced that they are telling the court the truth in their testimony. And the second thing, we had to consider the kind of offences they are accused of, these serious offences. They have affected not only the family of the deceased they also affect the whole community that is why you see what is happening in the community. If we don’t oppose bail it would give an impressing that we are not taking these kinds of offences seriously and we lose confidence in our society.”
On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele highlighted the importance of government acting tough on the perpetrators of crime. He was speaking after the bail application.
Cele says the families of victims of crime deserve justice, irrespective of their colour or creed.
“We want justice across the board. It doesn’t matter where you died, whether you were shot and killed in Mandeni taxi rank, Khayelitsha, Mamelodi, as Jabu was killed on Monday, the chair of the taxi association. Whether a young man killed young Horner here, we must forever fight for justice.”
In the video below Minister Cele speaks to SABC News
AfriForum’s deputy CEO, Ernst Roets, earlier this month called on government to take stern action against farm murders.
“The other side is people are angry and fed up with a lack of action by the South African government. We’ve had President Cyril Ramaphosa going into an international forum in 2018 and when asked about farm murders, he denied that it exists that there are no farm murders in South Africa. And more recently two weeks ago we had the Minister of Police Bheki Cele saying that farm murders are something that should not be a priority for the police. And it made people very angry and people lose trust in government.”
AfriForum’s Ernst Roets reacts to Senekal violence:
Meanwhile, 51-year-old Andre Pienaar who’s facing charges of attempted murder, malicious damage to property and public violence was denied bail.
Pienaar was arrested last week following violence in which a group of farmers stormed the court building to demand that two suspects charged with the murder of Brendin Horner be handed over to them.
Meanwhile, farmers in the Free State called for the return of the death penalty to deal with farm murders: