Dad kills daughter by mistake

2012-05-19 00:00

THAT a father shot his own daughter by accident when robbers descended on their home, is “the worst thing that could ever happen to a family”.

So said Jannie Maritz after his brother-in-law, Glenn Boshoff of Centurion, shot his eight-year-old daughter through a closed bedroom door yesterday morning.

The tragedy occurred when robbers broke into the family’s home in a complex.

Little Edith, called Edi by her family, was shot in the head and died in hospital. She was in Grade 2.

Maritz said Boshoff and his wife, Adele, “are broken”.

A policeman on the scene said Boshoff was awoken by his dogs barking at about 3.30 am and went to investigate.

He apparently saw an armed robber at the bottom of the stairs and another climbing through a window.

“He shouted to his wife: ‘Gun! Gun!’, ran back into their room and slammed the door, and took his revolver out of the safe,” the policeman told sister paper Beeld anonymously.

The couple’s teenage son, Trevor, meanwhile, locked himself in a bathroom. Edi woke up and went to her parents’ bedroom.

“But when she turned the handle, Boshoff thought it was the robbers trying to get in and fired a shot through the door.

“When he opened the door, his daughter was lying there,” said the policeman.

The robbers, who are believed to have numbered up to six, had fled in the meantime.

Carin Clemons, a neighbour, said she saw two men running away.

“I heard a shot, but we didn’t know what had happened,” she said.

She said she saw the Boshoffs driving out of the complex, “but we only heard later that they were taking their daughter to hospital”.

Her husband, Jan, said it was the fourth break-in at the complex after the electric fencing was turned off during building work.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police are searching for a gang of six robbers whose only loot was a handbag.

Charges of housebreaking and culpable homicide are being investigated.

When the investigation is complete, the director of public prosecutions will decide whether to prosecute Boshoff.

• On May 24, 2004, the former Springbok Vleis Visagie shot his only daughter Marlé (19) dead in similar fashion after mistaking her for a car thief in his driveway.

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