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Youths admit Richmond farm murders

Pietermaritzburg - Three youths admitted in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday to killing a family of three on a farm in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal.

The three, aged 17, 19 and 20, admitted to stabbing to death Echard Schutte, 76, his wife Elizabeth Schutte, 66, and their son, Lutz Schutte, 33.

Their son had gone to the farm to attend his father's 77th birthday celebrations.

The three youths admitted having gone to Springvale Farm near Richmond on March 1, 2014, to rob the family, and taking knives to kill their victims so that they would not be identified.

They also took petrol, “to destroy any evidence to link us” and set their bodies alight.

They were arrested three days after the crimes.

Accused Sandekuhle Maduna, 19, who worked for the elderly Schutte, said that they took a taxi from Pietermaritzburg to the farm.

Maduna said he approached Schutte pretending he wanted to buy wood. In a shed the 17-year-old grabbed Schutte from the back, a struggle ensued and he stabbed Schutte in the neck.

The three then went to the farmhouse but Elizabeth was not home. They tried to open a safe but failed and decided to wait for her as she had the safe keys.

She and their son arrived. She was grabbed and he was stabbed in the head and neck.

The three men then took Elizabeth to the main bedroom and after binding her wrists with tape, they cut her throat.

They took money and other items and then doused the bodies with petrol before setting them alight.

The three drove off in the Schuttes' vehicle.

After all three made similar confessions, acting Judge Louis Barnard adjourned the case to April 22 for pre-sentencing reports.

The second accused is Siphesihle Ngubane, 20, and third accused, aged 17, may not be identified because of his age.

Sapa

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