Durban - The Richmond community is reeling following the revelation of gory details relating to the murders of the Schutte family.
A former employee of the Schutte family, and two accomplices have been arrested in connection with what some police have described as one of the most heinous farm murders they have seen.
The arrests followed joint investigations by Richmond SAPS, Crime Intelligence, K9 Unit, Hawks and Magma Security. The suspects were arrested in the Sweetwaters and Elandskop area.
Police recovered three firearms as well as cellphones stolen from the Schutte home.
The Schutte family were murdered on their smallholding in Richmond on Sunday.
Eckhardt Schutte, 77, his wife, Elizabeth, 66, and their 33-year-old son, Lutz, were killed by ruthless assailants who ransacked the house and escaped in the Schutte’s farm vehicle.
Lutz had flown in on Saturday from Germany to celebrate his father’s birthday.
The bodies of the three were discovered by the couple’s eldest son, Stefan, when he arrived a while later to wish his father a happy birthday.
The family’s vehicle was found burnt out and abandoned in dense bush in the Sweetwaters area. The Schuttes were a well-known family who owned a small bush sawmill and sold shavings to chicken farmers, and wooden pallets to vegetable farmers.
According to Magma Security chief executive Shaheen Suleiman, one of the suspects lured Schutte sr to a shed on the family’s property under the pretext of buying firewood.
At the shed, two other suspects “stabbed Schutte multiple times before he fell to the ground”, Suleiman said.
The suspects then went to the house and ransacked every room, taking with them various household items.
“The suspects were then surprised at the arrival of Schutte’s wife and son. The suspects confronted them and stabbed the son in full view of his mother,” said Suleiman.
The suspects then allegedly took Elizabeth Schutte to a bedroom to open a safe and stabbed her as well. They then poured petrol over the mother and son’s bodies and set them alight. They fled in Schutte’s vehicle