End of Vaalharts murder trial in sight


Family of members of the Brand family who were murdered on their farm in 2020, had to swallow hard again this past week at the emotion that rekindled testimony in the murder trial.

The murder trial against Donald Seoleseng (21), Tshepo Visagie (36), Realeboga Manyedi (20), Kgomotso Mpulwana (43) and Tsepaone Melato (20) was resumed this week in the Kimberley High Court.

These five are accused of brutally murdering three family members, Dan (83), Breggie (73) and Elzabie Brand (54), in July 2020 on their farm in Vaalharts in the Northern Cape.

RNews previously reported that Mpumlwana and Melato testified in court this week and were taken under cross-examination.

“This is a long, grueling road that we walk and it takes its toll on each of us. We can only pray, believe and hope that justice will be done for my father, mother and Elzabie,” Trudie de Beer told RNews. She and her sister, Heidie Taljaard drive long distances each time to attend the murder trial of their parents and sister.

Taljaard says that after this week’s court appearances it is clear to her that the term “under oath” does not really mean much to some people.

“There were frequent cases where the accused suddenly denied that they had made certain comments in the previous court appearances.”

Taljaard says she and Trudie still feel defeated after the murder of their parents and sister.

“We still don’t understand. We will probably never understand.

“The evidence indicates that the motive for the murders of our parents and sister was the vehicles. However, both cars were very old and nothing special. It wasn’t worth three precious lives.

“My parents and sister would have given the cars to them without hesitation. We listened to the pathology testimony throughout the court case. I cannot understand how someone could do this to our family members – and this to vehicles?

Taljaard says all they are holding on to now is that justice will be done and that the guilty will not get away.

“Nothing will ever be able to bring back our beloved parents and sister, but if these people are behind bars, we can at least say with peace of mind that other families will not also go through this grief because of their actions.”

Johan Kloppers, trauma counselor who has been providing support to the family of the Brand family for the past three years and was also present at every court case, says the week was again full of emotions.

“It was clear that Heidie and Trudie were hurt.

“I could see that the court case was draining them emotionally. And since we are now getting closer to a verdict, new emotions also flare up.”

The case was adjourned until July 4 so that closing arguments from the state and the defense could be submitted. Each will also have the opportunity to read a summary of their closing arguments in court.

The judgment will then finally be heard on 19 and 20 September.