Vaalharts murders: Trial long postponed

Henry

The trial of the four defendants who are on trial for the gruesome murders of three members of the Brand family will continue in April next year.

Donald Seoleseng (23), Tshepo Visagie (39), Kgomotso Mpumlwana (46) and Tsepaone Melato (22) are charged in connection with the murders of Dan (83), Breggie (73) and Elzabie Brand (54). The three members of the Brand family were kidnapped on 26 July 2020 on their smallholding in Magogong, near Hartswater, and found dead days later.

The state closed its case in May this year. During the defense’s case, Seoleseng was taken under cross-examination and the court heard testimony about one of the Brands’ stolen cars and how the defendants went about trying to sell the victims’ stolen items, such as a laptop.

The trial will resume on 24 April 2024 in the High Court in Kimberley. The accused remain in custody in Kimberley Prison.

Breggie’s body was found in a blue duvet in a waterhole in the Taung area on 29 July 2020, followed by Dan and Elzabie’s on the same day near Taung in the field. All three deceased were tied up.

RNews reported earlier this year that Trudie de Beer and Heidie Taljaard attended the murder trial of their parents and sister from the beginning.

“It was hard to hear all the details from the various witnesses,” the sisters told RNews.

The two sisters said their parents and sister “meant something and mattered” and therefore they would like to announce it to the world.

“They were our everything. We will attend every court proceeding until the accused are sentenced. At the beginning of the case, we gave the public prosecutor nice photos of our parents and Elzabie. Nice photos. We wanted them to see the people they were and not just recognize them from mutilated forensic photos in their file,” say the sisters.

The sisters also find it disturbing that the suspects “continue their lives in silence” and that “their legal representatives do everything in their power to get their clients off the hook on minor technicalities”.

“While they know exactly with what cruelty and malice they tortured and finally killed our loved ones. The suspects have no remorse. They talk and visit with their families, the guards wear blankets for the cold and our people’s broken bodies were left in the cold somewhere in a field in the winter.

“The irony is that in our country we are so hypersensitive to people’s human dignity, but people’s lives mean nothing. We are angry because if you don’t respect people’s lives, you don’t deserve to be in society.”

Among other things, these sisters had to hear testimony about how their loved ones were brutally assaulted and killed.