Son ‘will admit murder’

2012-11-13 00:00

HARRISMITH — The adopted son of murdered dominee, Willem Brits will not apply for bail and intends to plead guilty.

Martin Brits (28) appeared briefly in the Harrismith Magistrate’s Court with co-accused Elliot Mhlambi (41), yesterday.

They are accused of the murder of Brits senior and Brits’s sister’s fiancé, and the attempted murder of his mother.

They entered the court handcuffed together.

In the dock, a frightened looking Mhlambi stared straight ahead, while Brits hung his head.

Brits told magistrate Harold Pratt he will not apply for bail and will plead guilty. The case was postponed until November 19 to give the state time for further investigations.

Brits and Mhlambi, who apparently met in prison, are accused of the axe murder of Brits senior, the pastor at the Kerkenberg Dutch Reformed church, and of Gerhard Vermeulen (25), who was engaged to daughter, Thea Brits. Mother, Dorothea Brits (59), was severely injured in the attack and is in a critical condition in hospital in Bloemfontein.

Thea, who was also at home, was not injured.

It is alleged Martin initially told police he was confronted by an intruder who told him to tie up his parents and Vermeulen with cable ties. He said he was then knocked out and put in a bath during the attack on Thursday evening.

He was arrested on Friday evening after intensive questioning by police.

Vermeulen’s half-brother, Nelus le Roux, was in court yesterday, but no members of the Brits family were present.

It emerged yesterday that Martin Brits and Mhlambi were in prison together after Martin had been found guilty of 18 counts of theft, of a total of R806 000 and six of attempted theft, of R292 000 at the auditing firm Enslins where he was an articled clerk.

Mhlambi was serving a sentence for truck hijacking and was released last year after about nine years. Brits was released on parole in May.

A childhood friend of Martin, who asked to remain anonymous, said Martin was a “mamma’s boy” at school.

He said there was a lot of tension in the Brits household after Martin came out of prison. “He was an embarrassment.”

Martin told him his parents had rejected him.

Vermeulen’s stepfather, Willem le Roux, said he hopes the truth will come out. “Brits was good to his adopted children,” he said.

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