January 23 2007 at 06:58AM
"Darling, they've shot me. I can't hold the door closed any longer," said Willem Smit before giving a mighty shove and locking three robbers away from his family.
Smit, 41, of Acasia, north of Pretoria, was shot through the kitchen door on their smallholding in Heatherdale in front of his wife, Magda, 44, and their 13-year-old son, Steven, on Saturday night, reported Beeld on Tuesday.
He had opened the door and security gate to investigate noises.
Magda said: "Willem used his last strength to get the bolt into the door, then grabbed the lock out of my hand to secure it.
He then asked her to phone the police.
"He said: 'I'm going, come and say goodbye,' then he fainted," said Magda.
"The robbers got nothing but they took my husband's life."
Smit was shot in the left side and the bullet hit an artery and his lungs.
"He's my hero," she said.
Her brother, Sampie Esterhuizen, said Smit was the third member of their family to be murdered.
Their brother Kobus Esterhuizen, a police officer, was shot dead in 1995.
Esterhuizen's father-in-law, Douw Kaltwasser, was stoned to death three months earlier. - Sapa