The men accused of murdering 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner will on Thursday know whether their bail application has succeeded.
Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa will appear in the Senekal Magistrates’ Court in the Free State. They were arrested earlier this month after the body of Horner was found tied to a pole on a farm in Paul Roux.
The suspects’ first court appearance was marred by violence when farmers stormed the court building to demand that they be handed over to them. The farmers also torched a police vehicle.
Arguing in their defense, their lawyers told the Senekal Magistrate’s Court that allegations against the two are baseless and that there was no forensic evidence linking the accused to the murder of Horner.
The state in opposing bail and argued that if Mahlamba and Matlaletsa are granted bail they would interfere with witnesses and that their release would cause a public outcry.
An investigating officer testified that already one of the state witnesses has reported that he received a death threat telling him that if he does not stop talking to the police he would not see December.
Video: Senekal murder accused back in court:
Senekal Magistrate’s Court hears no physical evidence links accused to Horner murder
The lawyers representing murder accused Mahlamba and Matlaletsa told the court that murder allegations against their clients are baseless and the two didn’t commit the murder.
The lawyers have been cross-examining the investigating officer Gerhardus Myburgh following his testimony that the release of the accused on bail will create unrest in Paul Roux and surrounding areas.
Defence lawyer Machini Motloung says he has trust in the country’s law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order.
Lamola condemns violent protest by farmers in Senekal
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola condemned the violent protest by farmers.
Preliminary reports indicate that a police vehicle was torched, court property damaged and gunshots fired during the incident.
In the video below, farmers in the Free State are calling for the return of the death penalty:
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