There are signs of him everywhere in the house: an old cap, his tools, his muddy work boots next to their double bed, his deodorant, an ashtray with cigarette butts.
The house itself is sparsely furnished – they hadn’t got around to buying a lounge suite yet.
But they had big plans for the life they’d have together. He wanted to build a braai area in the backyard from wooden pal lets and he wanted a rose garden. And she wanted to fill the house with children one day.
Now all Lenize Taljaard’s dreams are in tatters, her heart broken. Her boyfriend, Brendin Horner, is dead, killed one night on the farm where he worked. His bloody body was discovered tied by the neck to a fence post, stab wounds in his head and chest, and he’d been strangled.
The murder of the 22yearold farm worker in the district of Paul Roux in the eastern Free State has dominated head lines. Three men were arrested in the days that followed – two for Brendin’s murder and one, a former farmer, for attempted murder, public violence and incitement to violence after he allegedly instigated a charge on the court in nearby Senekal when the two accused appeared.
He also allegedly tried to set fire to the holding cells where the two men were being held. Two shots were fired as the protesters charged the court buildings and police intervened.
Police minister Bheki Cele and Presi dent Cyril Ramaphosa have both weighed in, vowing to step up measures to stop the scourge of crime affecting farmers across the spectrum. Many are under siege to livestock theft syndicates who move across the land in the dead of night.
And crime, Ramaphosa said in the heated days after Brendin’s murder, isn’t only threatening livelihoods – it’s threatening the nation’s food security.
But for Lenize (24), the violence and tension are simply background noise now. She has to come to terms with the fact that the man she thought she’d be spending the rest of her life with is never coming home.
IT WAS love at first sight when she met Brendin in 2017 at a pub in Schweizer Reneke, North West, where he was working after finishing school.
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