Bodies of elderly Northern Cape parents found after farm attack

Elzabie, Breggie and Danie Brand.
Elzabie, Breggie and Danie Brand.
  • The bodies of three family members kidnapped from their Northern Cape smallholding have been found. 
  • Three people were arrested after they were spotted in a car stolen from the smallholding. 
  • A fourth and fifth suspect have since been arrested.

*UPDATE: The bodies of all three family members kidnapped from a smallholding in Hartswater in the Northern Cape have now been found. Five people have now been arrested.

The murdered bodies of an elderly couple have been found by police after the latest farm attack in the Northern Cape, the family has confirmed.

Police had searched since Sunday for family Danie Brand, 83, his wife Breggie, 73, and their daughter Elzabe, 54, who lived on a smallholding in Hartswater, Northern Cape.

READ | 'They were about to have Sunday lunch' - family speaks on triple farm murders

On Tuesday morning, police discovered the body of Elzabe Brand, in a field in the Taung area, north of Hartswater.

In the afternoon, at around 17:00, the family was informed by police they had found the elderly couple too.

"They've just found my parents. They're gone," a heartbroken son-in-law Wikus Taljaard told News24.

The family had received no further information.

Police confirmed the parents' bodies were found in a veld in Takaneng Village, said spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

A fifth suspect, aged 36, has also been arrested.

This after a 42-year-old woman, and three men, aged between 18 and 20, were arrested earlier on Tuesday.

The story below was published earlier on Tuesday.

The body of one of three family members kidnapped from a smallholding in Hartswater in the Northern Cape has been found and three people have been arrested.

News24 earlier reported that Danie Brand, 83, his wife, Breggie, 73, and their daughter, Elzabie, 54, who visited her parents over the weekend, had been missing since Sunday, along with their vehicles.

Netwerk24 reported that guests arrived at the couple's home on Monday afternoon, only to find it deserted, ransacked and bloodstained.

One of the couple's cars, a Nissan Micra, was reportedly found in Taung in the North West.

On Tuesday, Marius Müller, national operations coordinator at AfriForum, told News24 that a body, believed to be that of Elzabie, had been found during the course of Monday night. 

"What we need now is more support on the ground to find the other two..." Müller said. 

Müller confirmed that the Brands' family had been informed of the development and that trauma counsellors were en route to Hartswater to lend support.

He said four people were taken into custody just after 23:00 on Monday - three men and a woman - although the woman was not a suspect at that stage.

"They were found in Elzabie's stolen Mazda, which had been fitted with fake number plates.

"At around 02:00 on Tuesday morning the suspects attempted to point out where the other bodies were, but they apparently got confused. I cannot say what [the suspects] did to them at this stage."

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo confirmed the arrests of three people and that Elzabie's body had been found. 

"The incident was reported to the police [on Monday] after a family member residing in Johannesburg suspected that something was wrong when he was unable to get in touch with his parents and sister since Sunday," Naidoo said.

Massive search launched

"A massive search was launched which resulted in one of the stolen cars, a Nissan Micra, being found abandoned at Majaneng village, Taung in the North West [on Monday] night.

"With the search continuing in the Northern Cape, the second vehicle, a grey Mazda CX5 was spotted in the area of Pudimoe." 

The vehicle was stopped and three people were arrested.

"Follow-up investigations were conducted throughout the night and in the early hours of this morning the body of the... daughter was found in a field in the Takaneng Village in Taung. She had been murdered but the cause of death is yet to be determined," Naidoo said.

He added that the search for the parents and possibly, a fourth suspect, was continuing.

"At this stage, the motive for the attack is suspected to be robbery."

Naidoo said the police were appealing to anyone for information on the whereabouts of the couple or the fourth suspect to contact the police on its Crime Stop number on 08600 10111. Information can also be provided on the My SAPS app.

All information will be treated with the strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous.

*An earlier version of this article stated that four people had been arrested, based on information received from sources at the time. Police first confirmed only three arrests. A fourth suspect was arrested later on Tuesday.

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