OFM News reports that the Investigator Pieter Myburgh conceded, when cross-examined by advocate Joseph Kgoelenya on behalf of accused number one, Sekwetje Mahlamba (32), that the bloodstained clothes and knife that were found inside a freezer located at Mahlamba’s alleged shack, are still undergoing forensic testing.
This implies the only evidence the state has at this early stage against Mahlamba and his co-accused, 44-year-old Sekola Matlaletsa, hinges on the testimony of eyewitnesses who allegedly overheard the duo confess to “stabbing a white man after he gave them problems” at a local tavern.
Mahlamba’s legal counsel, Kgoelenya, maintains in his cross-examination that the state’s evidence against his client is weak and circumstantial at best.
Myburgh vehemently refutes the advocates’ assertion, adding that the corroborating eyewitnesses’ testimonies came from three different individuals who were all there at the tavern on the night that the confessions were made but had their statements taken down by authorities at different times in the aftermath of the murder.
The defence further disputes that the shack in which the blood-stained clothes were found stashed in a freezer, belongs to accused number one. They maintain it is, in fact, his brother’s shack.
Kgoelenya argues there is no evidence presented to the court that his client will attempt to influence witnesses nor that he has the means to flee from the country.
Last week Friday, OFM News reported that the investigating officer told Magistrate Deon van Rooyen that the post mortem results showed that Horner was stabbed in his head, shoulders, and hands but the cause of death was, in fact, strangulation. The duo was apprehended on Saturday 3 October by Senekal detectives at Fateng-tse-Ntho in Paul Roux. The arrest came after Horner’s body was found at an open space at the De Rots farm two days prior to the arrest. The deceased’s Toyota Hilux was found by police abandoned near Duikfontein farm with bloodstains inside.
The state stresses that the release of the duo on bail will result in outrage and unrest in the area. This is a point both Kgoelenya and Motloung have disputed in their cross-examinations.