- Charl Baartman, 3, died after being attacked by two pitbulls.
- His dad was at work when the tragedy unfolded in Kirkwood.
- Police have opened an inquest.
The family of little Charl Baartman are reeling after the three-year-old was attacked and killed by pitbulls in a neighbour's yard in Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape.
His heartbroken dad, Vernon, told News24 that he had been at work in Addo on Wednesday when the tragedy played out around noon in Aqua Park.
"I wasn't there but my smaller daughter, who is nine, moved with the laaitie [Charl] into the neighbour's yard. When they closed the gate, the dogs approached them," he said.
The pitbulls started attacking and Baartman said the kids ran into the house because they were scared. They apparently tried to save Charl by pulling him inside, but it was too late, he said.
"They bit him through the skull and there were also bite wounds in his neck and stomach. It's terrible."
By the time the boy was rushed to hospital, it was too late and he was declared dead.
"There is pain in my heart. He was a very quiet guy. He liked to smile."
He said their children were in shock.
"I spoke to the owner of the dogs, a friend of mine. It's a terrible story."
The family was considering legal action.
Police said the details were still sketchy, but an inquest is currently under way.
Sergeant Majola Nkohli said the pitbulls were taken to the local SPCA to be euthanised.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Morné van Tonder, at 082 441 7738.