Belfast, Mpumalanga - Two men allegedly involved in the murder of an elderly couple appeared in the Belfast Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, Mpumalanga police said.

“(The case) is back on January 30. Currently we are in the beginning stages of our investigation,” Colonel Leonard Hlathi said.

The men would remain in custody. They are charged with murder, theft, housebreaking, armed robbery, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The first of the two men, aged 21, was arrested in a house in Mamelodi, north of Pretoria, on Saturday. The second man, 24, managed to escape by shooting at police. He was caught in Lydenburg on Monday.

A firearm believed to have been stolen from the couple, and a Nissan double-cab bakkie stolen from another elderly couple in Carolina were recovered, Hlathi said.

The bodies of Rudolf and Elna van Heerden, both 79, were discovered in a freezer at their home in Belfast on January 9. Their hands and feet had been bound.

The killers stole their 4x4 and two firearms. Beeld reported that they had to abandon the vehicle when they filled it with petrol instead of diesel. - Sapa