Suretha Brits to serve 25 years for murdering her hotelier husband

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Suretha Brits, charged with murdering her hotelier husband Leon, pleaded guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances on Monday.

The high court in Upington sentenced Brits, 31, to an effective 25 years in jail.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said Brits was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

“Count two will run concurrently with count one,” said Senokoatsane.

Brits’ body was found floating in a swimming pool at one of the couple’s properties in Pofadder on October 7 2020. He had been stabbed several times. Valuables, including firearms, diamonds and cash, were taken from the premises.

Brits made a brief appearance in the Pofadder magistrate’s court in April.

Three men were arrested for the murder. One of the accused, Jacques van Vuuren, 37, entered into a guilty plea agreement with the state. According to Rapport, Van Vuuren claimed in his plea agreement that Brits beat Suretha, had an extramarital affair, and threatened that she would lose custody of their children.

Van Vuuren said Brits’ wife had “constantly pestered” him since September to do her “dirty work”, for which she was prepared to pay R400,000 and even include her diamond ring worth R125,000.

In March, the high court in Kimberley sentenced him to 25 years for the murder, of which five years were suspended. He got 15 years for aggravated robbery and three years for unlawful possession of a firearm. The sentences will run concurrently and Van Vuuren will effectively serve 20 years behind bars.

Brits’ case was moved from the Pofadder magistrate’s court to the high court in Upington on Monday, when she decided to plead guilty.

Senokoatsane said prosecutor Johannes Cloete requested a separation of the trial for the two co-accused in the matter.

The trial of Amantle Bareki, 26, and Enrich Williams, 35, will start in the circuit high court, Upington, next Monday.

“The two accused are facing several charges, including the murder of Leon Brits and robbery with aggravating circumstances,” he said.

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