Hartswater murder suspects to appear in court on Thursday

Alleged Brand family killers (from left): Tshepo Visagie, Khomotso Mpumlwana, Donald Seolesang, Tshepaone Melato and Realeboga Manyedi.
Image: Picture: Steven Bennie

Five people who were arrested in connection with the brutal murder of three members of the Brand family in Hartswater, in the Northern Cape, last month will make their second court appearance on Thursday, police confirmed.

Danie, 83, and Breggie Brand, 73, and their daughter Elzabie, 54, were found dead in the fields in the Taung area, some 30km north of Hartswater, at the end of July.

A massive search was launched when the family went missing on Sunday July 26, after allegedly being attacked on their smallholding in Hartswater.

Elzabie’s body was found buried in a shallow grave on Monday July 27, and the bodies of her parents were found about a kilometre away from her the next day.

Her mother was found buried in the eye of a dried-up spring, while her father was found soon after, 500m away from his wife’s body.

Police arrested five suspects, who appeared in the Hartswater magistrate’s court on Thursday July 30, on charges of murder, kidnapping and robbery. They are Tshepo Visagie, 36, Khomotso Mpumlwana, 43, Donald Seolesang, 20, Tshepaone Melato, 19, and Realeboga Manyedi, 18.

They were remanded until their next court appearance on August 13.

Following their arrest and appearance in court, police announced last Friday that police have recovered a Sahara laptop and Samsung J5 cellphone, which were pawned at a shop for R400 at Vaaltyn village in the Taung area.

Police spokesperson Brig Mohale Ramatseba said these items belonged to the Brand family.

Ramatseba said officers also recovered a handbag at the home of Mpumlwana, containing one of the victims’ driving licence, identity document and store cards.

The Brand family was buried last Thursday.

By ERNEST MABUZA

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