Dog guards dead master

2010-05-11 22:57

Pretoria - A toy pom dog belonging to Robert Botha, 57, who was murdered on his smallholding at Kameeldrift West near Pretoria on Monday, sat on his master's chest and guarded his body until the police arrived.

The little dog, named Louis, probably watched helplessly as the attackers stabbed Botha five times in the heart.

Botha was also stabbed in the face and there are several cuts on his arms, presumably self-defence wounds.

Botha was attacked in his house by three armed robbers. On Tuesday, Louis was still very anxious and didn't make a sound.

Eddie Horn, 40, Botha's second cousin, said the incident took place at about 15:00.

Looked for hiding place

"I think Robert saw the three men approaching and ran to his bedroom to open the safe and take out his .22.

"They (the robbers) must have been too quick for him and attacked him in the bedroom just after he opened the safe. They overpowered him near his bed and stabbed him," said Horn.

According to Horn, the trail of Botha's blood illustrates how he tried to flee from his attackers and looked for a place to hide from them.

"Robert stumbled from his bedroom to a workshop next to his room.

"If you look at the trail of blood, you can see how he ran to the workshop. There he must have stumbled, because he lost his shoes there," said Horn.

Dog belonged to grandmother

Horn said Botha then stumbled around the corner to an awning next to the workshop, where he tried to hide on an old mattress under rubble, leaves and branches.

"That's where the dog went to sit on his chest. Robert loved that dog very much. His late grandmother, Louisa Botha, left the dog in his care when she died."

Botha's grandmother died on December 24 last year.

According to Horn, Botha's body was discovered ten minutes later by a man he shared his house with. He then called the police.

"The police were soon at the scene, but they weren't able to get the dog off Robert's chest. My sister, Annetjie Enslin, 33, had to come and take the dog away."

Community terrorised for 7 years

The dog is currently in Horn's care.

During their investigation, the police discovered a puddle of blood on the western side of the smallholding's fence, and they suspect the blood belongs to one of the attackers whom Botha presumably injured.

Hettie Jordaan of the rural security sector said they suspect that two of the attackers involved are the same men who shot and killed Jan du Toit, 80, in his bed two weeks ago.

According to Jordaan, these robbers have been terrorising the Kameeldrift community for the past seven years.