Family shooting - no foul play suspected

2011-04-18 22:50

Bloemfontein - Police said on Monday that no foul play was suspected in the shooting death of a Richmond farmer and his family.

Lieutenant Colonel Hendrik Swart said police were called after one of the farmer’s employees came across the bakkie on a gravel road just after 06:00 on Monday morning, about 1km from the farm.

David Theron, 58, and his 39-year-old wife Cornel, as well as their two daughters, Mikayla, 8, and Cara, 6, were all found with head wounds.

David was found in the driver's seat with a .357 revolver in his lap.

"It is suspected that all four persons were killed with the revolver found in the bakkie," Swart said.

Police discovered the girls hidden under a pile of jackets on the front passenger seat.

Cornel's body was found under a pile of clothes on the back of a bakkie.

A spokesperson for the family, Linda Theron, confirmed that Cornel was seriously ill.

She did not want to go into detail as to what was wrong, except to say that she didn’t have cancer.

Post mortems would take place in Kimberley this week.

  • Barend - 2011-04-18 23:11

    A man murders his two kids of 6 and 8 years old and the police say that NO FOUL PLAY WAS SUSPECTED!

      Bill Xhosa - 2011-04-18 23:38

      No foul play may have been poor wording. From the description this sounds like a very sad case of mercy killing and suicide. The ultimate tragedy is that the children were killed probably because the father did not want anyone else to raise them.

      XyLUthicus CrUSifer - 2011-04-19 09:37

      i thought the same as you did, news24 is amazing in that way....

  • arjenf - 2011-04-18 23:50

    what is the definition of foul play?? Sounds as foul as it gets - jeepers

      Grikie - 2011-04-19 02:20

      Yeah, I agree, illiterate South African journalists :-)

  • Optimus - 2011-04-19 00:37

    Sounds like another case of genocide. The only difference here is that the perpetrator seems to at least have a few functioning braincells to cover up the real events that took place.

      Thangy - 2011-04-19 10:29


      Charles Kane - 2011-04-19 14:31

      What stupid comment.

  • Blue - 2011-04-19 05:21

    This is SO incredibly can only speculate what the man and his wife were going through...Yes, to take the lives of their girls was wrong but, I tell you, this country and all its negative vibes surely has a very demotivating effect on the most optimistic so sad!!

  • molefeP - 2011-04-19 07:28

    This MUST be the most absurd headline ever on News24. No foul play suspected? They all died of natural causes then? Come on Ed.

      Johann - 2011-04-19 07:51

      i must agree, shocking !!! How can a family in a car with bullet wounds to the head look normal ... FFS news 24 & SAPS, wake up and smell teh rat

      Gatta - 2011-04-19 19:40

      @ Johann - the NORM in South Africa these days is murder, rape, violence. We definitely have taken a dive as to what should be regarded as the norm.

  • Bertus Nel - 2011-04-19 07:49

    Being farmer and the thought of you being killed cross your mind daily, your wife and daughters being raped over and over again while you must watch helplessly, i think this way is quicker and no suffering. I cant imagine what is must feel like to know your wife and daughter is being raped while you half dead on the floor. If it was him, them Im really sorry, but also understandable.

      GT - 2011-04-19 08:09

      4 murders and a suicide. Why would you kill your family because you are scared someone else might? That is the a bankrupt argument. Lets see this fellows financial situation and his religious convictions. Those are the 2 things that would drive someone to do some so completely inexcusable.

      citadell_los - 2011-04-19 08:52

      There's an allover lack of hope in this country. Most of us know someone who has been through similar ordeals that you describe. But this seems like straight up genocide.

      2c - 2011-04-19 12:02

      You do not murder your children, no matter what financial or other crises you as an adult may have. Life will go on for them but to be deprived of it is selfish.

      rob4e - 2011-04-19 13:03

      Woah dude, I would love to be one of your kids! Your logic goes along the lines of "Well were all gonna die sometime so I may as well kill my kids now and get it over with" WTF?!

      Optimus - 2011-04-19 13:37

      If indeed it was suicide then this current regime is to blame. With whites bieng so marginalised and victimised and that bafoon malema chanting war cries the pressure can really get to a person sometimes. Some will just seek the easy way out. Its unfortunate.

  • ET - 2011-04-19 08:02

    RIP - condolences to the family.

  • citadell_los - 2011-04-19 08:04

    It's horrific. But as a newly graduated woman I can tell you that all you work towards is getting out of this country.

      GT - 2011-04-19 08:25

      Why? Don't people kill themselves in other countries? Asinine comment.

      Mswati - 2011-04-19 08:59

      The soooner you get out the better, just stop whining as nothing will change.

      tumza - 2011-04-19 11:48

      Good ridance newly graduate

      2c - 2011-04-19 12:05

      Off you go then, just hope nobody kills anybody where your'e going newly graduated. Your comments are more bragging than simpathetic.

      Dessy - 2011-04-19 12:30

      Citadell_los I understand what you say its all about the crime, but this was not someone else who commite this family tragedy, it was the dad, I just read about 2 families in the USA who did the same. It happens all over the world. Its not an isolated case only to South Africa

      Bill Xhosa - 2011-04-20 01:21

      There are lots of good reasons to leave SA but this isn't one of them. Like Dessy said this is a type of crime that does happen all around the world and is not SA specific. Is the per capita rate of murder suicide higher in SA? Who knows but from what I have read it doesn't seem that much higher than other parts of the world. Now your overall per capita rates on murder, rape and violent crime are very high but this doesn't seem to apply here.

  • kolobe - 2011-04-19 08:07

    trying too hard to implicate malema

  • Stuart - 2011-04-19 08:17


      magszinovich - 2011-04-19 23:47

      Yes, because the article clearly says that "they died because they did not have the love of god in their homes." You are one huge inconsiderable TWAT

  • prsephton - 2011-04-19 08:22

    The cost of four human lives is one gun. Found on the lap of a victim, easily proven to have fired the killing shots, QED, no foul play. Elsewhere, the government defends the use of the slogan "kill the farmer", arguing that the phrase promotes peace and harmony.

      GT - 2011-04-19 08:39

      Are you suggesting that the farmer listened to the song, took it literally and decided to act by killing himself and his family? I suppose you also listen to the Hotel California played backwards.

      Mswati - 2011-04-19 09:01

      Are you sure, you have not smoked something?

  • anita.nortje - 2011-04-19 08:26

    and the song "kill the boer" has got nothing to do with this.... i beg to differ....

      Sizwe - 2011-04-19 11:09

      A "Boer" killed his own children, wife and then himself, where does Malema come into this??

      Hlabi - 2011-04-19 11:38

      What's your explanation Forensic Analyst?

      Hlabi - 2011-04-19 11:41

      @Anita -Forensic Analyst

      Dessy - 2011-04-19 12:36

      Anita it was a family tragedy, not a farm murder. In the USA a black dad killed his 5 children and the youngest was 2 year old twins. They lost both their jobs as Medical Technicians and dad did not see any other way out then to execute his family and commit suicide, he left a suicide note to say that they both lost their jobs and they had financial problems. It is a despicalbe act. A tragedy occured here dont make it a political issue. You South Africans black and white must grow up.

      Charles Kane - 2011-04-19 14:38

      Sjoe maar jy is dom, tannie Anita.

      Matt - 2011-04-19 23:03

      @Sizwe - he just does because he is an idiot!

  • Raymond - 2011-04-19 08:42

    Sympathy to the family at this time , this most likely arose due to us normal people being estranged from health services by the present regime .The " kill the boer " targetting white people does not help either , unfortunately politics will be dragged through this tragedy .

  • citadell_los - 2011-04-19 08:46

    @Gt merely informed. And my comment was directed @Bertus Nel. Now go look for arguments elsewhere. huh.

  • Rissiepit - 2011-04-19 09:31

    Why would they be found "hidden" under piles of clothes... jackets, whatever... If he planned to murder his family..? Sounds a bit fishy.. Why drove on to a dirt road.. not far from home to do such a terrible thing... why were there stuff "piles" actualy.. of clothes with them? doesnt add up...??? This is not a family mercy killing... you don't need to have any degree to figure that out...! NO WAY! I don't buy this!

      Christel Olivier - 2011-04-19 13:33

      The whole set-up is strange. I agree with you. The tragedy happening at home would have made a "bit more sense" if you can put it that way. Will have to wait and see if the weapon was registered to the father. If it was, then see if his fingerprints are on it. If not, then an obvious murder.

  • MactheKnife - 2011-04-19 10:17

    Dont attack News24, atleast they give you something to read. But so sad to read all this, and the children! May they all rest in peace

  • braveinternetguy - 2011-04-19 10:36

    The forensic pathologist will be able to determine, with some accuracy, whether the man had shot himself. Due to some mechanical limitations of the human body, "suicide by handgun" follows a number of well-described patterns. Unless the pathologist is threatened, bribed or is simply stupid, the TRUTH will come out at the autopsy.

  • Yasr - 2011-04-19 11:20

    I blame Julius! His firebrand song convinced the farmer to shoot himself.

  • Kevin King - 2011-04-19 11:27

    Farm murder! I think I'm willing to put up a few rand. Any takers?

      Honeybabe - 2011-04-19 13:59

      And the suspect will be the guy who called the police i guess? Come on, i know its not easy not to analyze things especially in this country, but it doesn't help to think the worse while you are living in SA. Yes prepare yourself. Though it will only cause your heartaches and being paranoid.

      Kevin King - 2011-04-19 14:29

      Statistically, a farmer is murdered every SECOND DAY in SA. The sad thing is that each day I wake up I expect to read this headline because that is our reality. Yes I'm assuming, let's wait a day or two and see.

  • Dessy - 2011-04-19 12:20

    What I dont understand was why the two little girls was hidden under clothes and the mother as well? Did he murdered his little girls first and hid them from the mother and killed her and then him? It was a dispicale act but its not my place to judge.

      Subzer0 - 2011-04-19 13:36

      Maybe and i can just speculate, that he could not bare to look at them like that so he covered them.

      Helen - 2011-04-19 13:55

      I tend to agree with Subzer0. He must have been in a very bad place to do this.... Shame so sad...

  • Helen - 2011-04-19 13:52

    What does speculating help? We do not know the circumstances surrounding this. Can only imagine how hard it must be to kill your family. If I were ever in a situation so dire that I thought killing myself was the only way I too might take my children with me. May their souls rest in peace.

  • Charles Kane - 2011-04-19 14:30

    What, it's only foul play if you shoot someone else's wife and children nxa!

  • Charles Kane - 2011-04-19 14:36

    My sympathies to their loved ones but the idiotic comments on here are too much. Occam's Razor. Use it. Here's one plausible scenario: The wife, nearly 20 years his junior had an affair causing the husband to snap and shoot her. He loaded her body into the bakkie along with the kids, and drove around in a panic after which he decided everyone would be better off dead.

      Geskok - 2011-04-19 16:55

      You are a real moron! I am family of these people and our heart is broken - did you not read the bit about the childrens mother being VERY SICK! You my friend is a unsypathetic bastard, may this never happen to someone you love! I do not wish this upon my biggest enemy!

  • Dave - 2011-04-19 18:08

    To all you that made such cruel statements at the break of this story, shame on you, a tragedy to say the least, this world is really messed up.

  • Karoobloed - 2011-04-19 23:36

    I want to commend the News24 editorial staff for rapidly shutting down the comment section on the breaking news article "Jackals scavenge on bodies". There unfortunately has been a few recent News24 articles where the initial article and/or headline regarding a murder incident has been fairly misleading. That resulted in a poisonous outpour of angry comments that was not in the best interest for race relations in RSA. Please consider being a little more proactive by at least initially closing off the comment section to potentially contentious articles, until better light has been shone on the subject.

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