This terrible story coming out of South Africa is ten weeks old now, but it is not a story with a time frame and ending, unlike a hurricane or an election, it is constant and ongoing so we will reflect on these tragedies that particularly haunt our minds. The brutal and senseless murders come at us daily. This young man’s murder caused a pause and a stir in the Afrikaner community and also us here in the US watching-but why?
On October 2, 21 year old farm manager Brendin Horner finished his work day at 7pm on Scheeper’s farm and was to visit his father on a neighboring farm. At 10pm, his girlfriend Lenize raised the alarm that he had not made it home. His father found his son dead, tied by the neck to a pole near his employer’s farm. Two black South African men (there were thought to be three) with an arrest history of burglary and livestock theft were apprehended. Brenin’s truck was found on another farm, drenched in blood. The police reported that there was evidence that Brendin had been dragged. He had been strangled but also stabbed in the head and arms. This was overkill. One has to see in their imagination that on that night, Brendin must have spotted the men stealing sheep or cattle and stopped to try to do something-stock theft is rampant on South African farms-and instead of running and giving up the livestock, they came at him to silence him. This is my question- why not run away and come back to try another day? What kind of person has the violence in them to so brutally beat and kill an innocent stranger? The alleged murderers, aged 32 and 43, could not have seen this 21 year old as a terribly threatening authority figure. I must conclude then, that this violence was motivated by racial hatred. It was not personal hatred, since they did not know the victim.
The family were unable to have a viewing of Brendin at his funeral service because his body was so abused. His hands and fingers are said to be shredded from his fighting for his life. We cry inside for that lost fight and the waste of a precious life. In some sources that I found, the focus is now on there being a syndicate of livestock thieves with the police being involved in the crimes. The names of the accused murderers are now left out to focus on this. I find this useless talk about how it could have been avoided with more investigations. I focus on the humananity lost. The act itself- which is abominable. As an American mother, I look at photos of this boy and see goodness, all of life’s possibilities, and youthful innocence. I think it is obvious to anyone looking at his photos that he was a good boy and loving son. His friends say he was steady, honest, humorous and would not hurt anyone. His employer stated that he would have become a top farmer. I also see, somewhere behind his photos, a crowd of good, salt-of-the-earth people who will never be seen- his children, grandchildren ect…
If you believe that there will be justice that can make up for Brendin’s painful loss and the absence of his descendants, you are wrong. One of the defendants was release on $100US bond even with forensic and other evidence tying him to the crime. He has since been re-arrested for another stock theft. The other defendant is detained in jail with this evidence and also prima facia evidence-being seen covered in blood near the scene and being heard bragging about killing a white man. Am I wrong in my conclusion about why Brendin was murdered? If you think so tell me why.