Boy calm in cot as dad dies

2010-04-28 23:16

Pretoria - A 2-year-old boy was standing calmly in his cot when members of the community of Boschkop, in the east of Pretoria, discovered his father's body in the dressing room of the master bedroom on Wednesday morning.

Dirk Human, 41, was covered in blood after he was viciously assaulted by robbers.

Paramedics were frantically trying to save his life when his wife, Yolanda, arrived at the Mooiplaats smallholding. She held his hand and begged him to wake up.

However, Dirk died without regaining consciousness.

She was still too traumatised to speak to Beeld on Wednesday, and has also not been able to make a statement to the police.

Anti-crime operation a day earlier

While members of the community and the police were milling about outside the house, a friend of the Humans arrived.

Yolande Barnard burst into tears and collapsed when she heard of the murder.

The attack on Wednesday morning happened less than 24 hours after nearly 300 members of the community and local police took part in an anti-crime operation.

Police spokesperson Marinda Stoltz said an unknown number of men gained access to Human's property. They locked the domestic worker in her room, and held Human in the house.

Several shots were fired in a struggle between him and the robbers. An investigation will determine who fired the shots.

Beeld has learned that Human was also stabbed in the face with a sharp object, but Stoltz was unable to confirm this.

Johan van Wyk, a resident in the area who was one of the first people at the scene, said Human's neighbour had heard his domestic worker scream. She called for help on the CB (citizen band) radio at 07:20.

Yolanda and their other son, aged 8, had left the house at about 06:50.

Lettie Lebina said while she was locked up in her room, the only thing she could hear was a "noise" and somebody shouting: "Shoot, shoot, shoot!"

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

When Van Wyk and the other two neighbourhood watch members arrived at the house, Lebina yelled at them that the child was in the house.

"We walked into the house and found the boy in the master bedroom where he was standing quite peacefully in his cot," said Van Wyk.

"He wasn't crying. We saw his dad lying in the dressing room. His dad was just out of his sight. The father's hands were tied with shoelaces and his head lay in the cupboard. There was a lot of blood.

"We started doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and kept going until the paramedics arrived."

Two weeks before Human was murdered, someone also tried to break into the house. Van Wyk claimed that Human hadn't reported it, because the police station had been closed.

The house is less than 200m from the police station.

In response, Stoltz said a police station may never be closed. According to her, the door may have been closed due to the weather, and officials might have been sitting in the office at the back near the charge office, but there should always be someone there.

Human's stolen Colt bakkie was later found abandoned in Mamelodi, in the east of Pretoria.