Robbed: Ben Malan, son of a senior Pretoria police officer, has been gunned down while trying to fend off a gang of heavily armed robbers.Photo: Eteinne Creux, Pretoria News
May 29 2007 at 04:35AM
The son of a senior Pretoria police officer was gunned down while trying to fend off a gang of heavily armed robbers breaking into his home.
Ben Malan, 21, a third-year mechanical engineering student at Pretoria University, was shot in the chest when he charged into his bedroom. This was moments after his killers hurled a chair through a window into his room in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The gunmen fled empty-handed after his father, Director Jacques Malan, ran into his bedroom and found them standing near his dying son.
Malan had been upstairs in the bathroom of his family's Lynnwood Ridge home when his killers launched their attack.
'I heard a loud smash and glass shattering from Ben's room'
Malan senior had been working on his computer in the study when he heard his son walk to the bathroom.
A distraught Malan, who works at the SAPS logistics department, said they were devastated over their loss.
"As I was working I heard a loud smash and glass shattering from Ben's room. By the time I ran out of the room Ben was already in his room.
"As I reached his bedroom the shooting had stopped," said Malan.
He charged into the bedroom, but Malan was unable to find his son.
'I cannot believe it'
"As I ran to the window I saw two of the gunmen standing outside. When I tried to hit one of them with my walking stick they ran off.
"It was then that I saw Ben trying to push himself up," he said. It appeared as though his son had thrown himself at the attackers.
Jumping through the broken window to go to his son's aid, Malan watched helplessly as Ben lost consciousness in front of him.
Together with a neighbour Malan carried his son in a blanket to a car before driving off to Wilgers Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
"It was just too late, just too late.
"I cannot believe it," said Malan while comforting his wife, Marita, and daughter, Christine.
Both Malan and his wife said their son was someone who loved life and lived every day to its fullest.
"He loved the outdoors and playing sport. He was good at everything he did and was extremely competitive," said Malan.
The family was battling to come to terms with what had happened.
Describing her brother, Christine said his love in life were his friends and sports.
"He loved the outdoors and playing sports and would always go out to win. It drove his friends mad, but they still loved him," she said, fighting back tears.
Pretoria police spokesperson Inspector Paul Ramaloko confirmed the murder. He said no arrests had been made.
A memorial service will be held for Malan at the NG Gemeente Kerk in Cussonia Street in Skuilkrans on Saturday at 11am.
This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on May 29, 2007