08/09/2008 08:19 - (SA)
Hilda Fourie, Beeld
Pretoria - A father who travelled from Belgium to South Africa for his son's 18th birthday, was shot dead in front of him early on Saturday morning.
After robbers killed the 45-year-old man in a security complex in Equestria, east of Pretoria, they held up and assaulted the son and his three friends - one of whom was a 17-year-old girl - for an hour-and-a-half.
They also indecently assaulted the girl in front of the boys.
Police spokesperson Jan Sepato did not want to release the name of the man, as all of his next of kin had not yet been informed.
The girl's mother said on Sunday night that she was totally oblivious to what was going on in the house across the road from her. She wanted to remain anonymous to protect her children's identities.
Shot in chest
She said the deceased arrived in South Africa on Wednesday to be with his son, who had turned 18 on Thursday.
"The boy and his father went to visit one of the boy's friends on Friday night. The friend, 19, is my daughter's boyfriend and lives across the road from us. My son, 17, and daughter also went to the friend.
"At about 00:10, three armed men stormed into the house. We think they got in through the door of the garage.
"When they came into the house, the man jumped up. They immediately shot him in the chest. They then tied up the children with pieces of clothing, including a jacket from one of the robbers, which had 'Gert' printed on it.
"The children could hear as the man died next to them. The boy whose birthday it was, kept begging the robbers to let him help his father, but they would not listen."
According to the woman, the robbers kept threatening to rape her daughter.
The girl's brother pleaded with them to leave his sister alone, while the girl's friend insisted that they take everything and just leave.
In spite of all their pleading, the robbers indecently assaulted the girl in front of the boys.
They also repeatedly hit the boys over the head with a piece of clothing in which a hard object had been wrapped up.
The robbers fled on foot with a laptop, clothes and alcohol after they couldn't get a car going.
Forensic evidence left at scene
The mother praised security company ADT and Netcare for their swift reaction, but added that she found a cigarette butt and cartridge on the scene when she cleaned it up late on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm furious," she said.
"A man has been murdered and children were terrorised. Here is the forensic proof. How can police leave it on the scene?"
Sepato said a case of murder and house robbery was being investigated. He did not want to comment on the evidence that the mother had found.