3 held after family killed on farm

Durban - Three people have been arrested in connection with the killing of a 76-year-old farmer, his 66-year-old wife and their 33-year-old son, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the three, one of whom was a farm employee, were arrested early on Tuesday morning in an operation that involved several branches of the police and a private security firm.

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On Sunday, the bodies of Echard Schutte, Elizabeth Schutte, and their son Lutz Schutte were discovered on Springfield Farm, near Richmond, by another son Stefan Schutte.

During the arrests, three firearms were seized, and cellphones belonging to the Schuttes were recovered, said Naicker.

“All three were brutally attacked and stabbed to death. There was no forced entry into the premises,” he said.

“The family's vehicle, firearms, and cellphones were taken by the suspects. The vehicle, which is alleged to have been burnt in an isolated area, could not be recovered due the inclement weather and terrain.”

The Witness newspaper reported that another brother was due to fly out from London.

It quoted unnamed sources as saying the Schuttes had been tortured. On Monday, Captain Thulani Zwane said they had been burnt. - Sapa