North West farmer, 24-year-old Matthew Benson, was denied bail in the Brits Magistrate's Court. Picture: ANA/Stringer

Brits - Another racial altercation erupted at the Brits Magistrate's Court on Friday, during the bail hearing of the Mooinooi farmer accused of murdering 24-year-old Tebogo Ndlovu.

Relatives and supporters of Matthew Benson and those of Ndlovu were involved in a heated exchange when the court briefly adjourned following technical problems with the recording equipment.

Sheila Mopai, in court to support the Ndlovu family, squared up against a woman in court to support Benson, over an allegation that the 24-year-old North West farmer was not showing any remorse. The two women wagged fingers at each other.

Police intervened to calmed down the situation and restore order. Mopai said one woman in Benson's camp accused them of intimidating her.

Racism reared its head for the first time on September 22, when a quarrel over a seat put the two sides in collision.

Racial tension at the Brits Magistrate's Court on Friday, during the bail hearing of Matthew Benson accused of murder of Tebogo Ndlovu in Majakaneng near Brits in the North West. Video: Molaole Montsho/ANA


On Friday, Benson was denied bail. The court said it is suspected that he might interfere with witnesses‚ he is a flight risk and his release might trigger public outrage. In August, residents of Majakaneng had barricaded major roads between Rustenburg and Pretoria and torched at least five vehicles after shooting, they also marched to the Mooinooi police station demanding Ndlovu's body and the arrest of Benson.

During his ruling, Magistrate Jethro Mosime said there was a possibility that evidence was tampered with at the scene and Benson was likely to hamper investigations.

The court also dismissed rumours that Ndlovu was alive and well.

"The body is missing from August 2 to date. Six people‚ including the applicant‚ were seen at the scene immediately after the shooting incident. There is a strong likelihood that the evidence was destroyed...” said Mosime.

Benson is accused of Ndlovu's murder and the attempted murder of two of Ndlovu's friends.

Ndlovu and his two friends from Majakananeng, allegedly went to the farm in Mooinooi on August 2, with the intention of stealing scrap metals. Benson spotted them and allegedly fired shots at them. A bullet allegedly hit Ndlovu as they were fleeing. His friends picked him up and runaway, they jumped into a neighbouring farm and left him behind because he was too heavy for them.

Benson had also jumped into the neighbour's farm and chased after them. They run up a mountain and when they looked back they saw Benson and another five men where they had left Ndlovu. He has not been seen ever since August 2.

Police close to investigation said Benson could have been arrested earlier but a senior court official had declined to charge him, turning back the docket to the investigators with queries and was also not willing to prosecute him on attempted murder charges.

"The investigators took the docket to Pretoria to secure his arrest..." said the officer who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Benson was arrested on September 16.

Brits falls within the jurisdiction of the North Gauteng High Court division.

Outside court jubilant residents of Majakaneng celebrated and praised Prosecutor Cassius Mona for leading evidence that led to Benson denied bail.

Ndlovu’s mother‚ Martha Ndlovu said she was pleased with the outcome.

"I welcome the court’s decision‚ but I am still pleading with the accused to give me my child’s body‚" she said.

Marianna Audrey, posted a reward of R10 000 to anyone who could provide information on the whereabouts of Ndlovu.

"Matthew Benson is my aanstaande skoonseun ek gee 'n beloning van R10 000 vir enige iemand wat weet waar Tebogo Ndlovu is," she in Afrikaans in the Madibeng Misdaad Verkeer Forum Facebook page. Loosely translate to: "Matthew Benson is my future son-in-law, I offer a reward of R10 000 to anyone who knows where Tebogo Ndlovu is".

The case was postponed to November 7 for investigations.