Brendin Horner: A hard-working young man and a 'top guy'
Two suspects due to appear in court on Tuesday for brutal murder
On the day Brendin Horner was brutally murdered, he celebrated his one-year anniversary of working for the Scheepers family on Bloukruin farm, close to the small Free State town of Paul Roux.
“He was so excited that day, that he was working a year for us, and on that special day he died. His family is taking his death extremely hard,” owner of Bloukruin farm Gilly Scheepers told TimesLIVE on Monday morning.
“They are in mourning and it's been very tough for them to deal with his death. This is a young man who had his entire life ahead of him.”
Horner and his father Robbie both worked for Scheepers on the farm. Scheepers said Horner worked with the “technical side of things” on the farm.
Farm manager Brendin Horner's body was found tied to a farm gate after he was killed by unknown attackers on October 2 2020. The death has outraged agricultural leaders and community members from Senekal and surrounding areas who demanded justice.
PODCAST | Survivors recount their farm attack experiences
“He was one of the gears that made the clock work,” he said.
The last time Scheepers saw Horner alive was just after 6pm on Thursday, when Horner greeted Scheepers with a firm handshake and left. He told Scheepers that he was visiting his father on the neighbouring farm.
His girlfriend Lenize Taljaard raised the alarm when he did not arrive at home that evening.
His father Robbie and a colleague Jaco Kleingeld found his body tied to a pole in an open space at the farm on Friday.
Horner had injuries to his head and face and was tied with a rope around his neck to the pole. Police seized a knife at the scene.
His Toyota Hilux bakkie, with blood stains, was later found abandoned near Duikfontein Farm in Paul Roux.
“He was a wonderful person and no-one can say anything bad about him. He was a well-mannered and hard-working person,” said Scheepers
“He was a top guy and our other workers loved him dearly. They broke down in tears last week when they found about his death. He was a gentleman.”
Scheepers said he had hired a private investigator and had also offered a reward of R50,000, hoping it would help ensure the successful prosecution of the culprits.
'Choppie meant the world to us'
A close friend of Horner's, Gwyneth Visagie, told TimesLIVE on Monday that his death left everyone heartbroken.
“I was in total shock. I kept telling myself over and over again that I heard wrong. He was an innocent person who suffered a cruel death.
“I will remember him as my best friend. We used to laugh together and he would always see the good in everything. He loved making jokes, was kind, loving and unique. He was loyal, fair and always willing to help.”
Visagie said she met Brendin in 2016.
“Brendin, or 'Choppie' as he was known to our friends and his family, meant the world to us,” she said.
“His personality was contagious and I just wanted to be more and more in his company. He never complained or talked bad about anyone. We had a special bond, we were good friends.
“I am going to miss his calls, his singing, our dancing together. He left a huge void in my heart. His family, friends and everyone are still emotional and their hearts are broken.
“Nothing will ever be the same again.”
Free State police confirmed on Sunday that two men had been arrested in connection with the murder.
Senekal detectives arrested the men, aged 34 and 43, on Saturday at Fateng tse Ntsho in Paul Roux.
They are expected to appear in the Senekal magistrate's court on Tuesday.