They were home, say families of duo accused of murdering Brendin Horner

Skwetje Mahlamba (32) and Sekola Matlaletsa (44) will return to the same court where chaos broke out last week when local farmers stormed the building demanding that the pair be handed over to them.

Maleqhoa Sithole, girlfriend of Sekwetje Mahlamba, one of the suspects accused for killing Brendin Horner. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PAUL ROUX, Free State – Ahead of their second court appearance on Friday the families of two men accused of killing Free State farm manager Brendin Horner have defended them, telling Eyewitness News that they were home on the night of the murder.

Skwetje Mahlamba (32) and Sekola Matlaletsa (44) will return to the same court where chaos broke out last week when local farmers stormed the building demanding that the pair be handed over to them.

The violent scenes prompted a visit from government’s security cluster, with calls for calm amid racial tensions.

In this Eyewitness News exclusive, the families of both suspects said they refused to believe that the men killed Horner and contend that they’re being used as scapegoats.

Maitumeleng Mofokeng is the mother-in-law to Matlaletsa, the older suspect in the murder case that has divided the town of Paul Roux.

While he has 16 prior arrests and accusations that he’s a stock thief, Matlaletsa’s family is standing by him.

Mofokeng said despite all his wrongdoings, her son-in-law has never killed a person and on the night Horner was killed, he was sleeping at home.

“He slept drunk. We had an argument that evening while watching local soapies. After that, he went quiet on the couch and he passed out.”



Mahlamba’s loved ones are also defending him.

His girlfriend, Maleqhoa Sithole, said she’s certain he did not leave the house that night.

“I don’t agree that he did a crime of this kind because, on the day of Brendin’s murder, I was with him. That night, we were drinking together at home. In the evening, he took his things into the house and went to bed.”

Sithole claimed that after Horner’s boss and farm owner, Gilly Scheppers, offered a R50,000 reward for information on his murder, her boyfriend was singled out.

Skwetje and Matlaletsa’s case has drawn attention from around the country and on Friday morning, the Economic Freedom Fighters and AfriForum members are expected to square off at the Senekal Magistrates Court.

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