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Friday, 18 July 2008

Farmer died to protect father

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Komatipoort - A true gentleman and a genuine gentle giant - this was how Nicky van Veijeren on Wednesday described her "six-foot-four" nephew and godchild Jan-Daniel Venter, 21, who was murdered on Blikkor farm near Komatipoort.

Jan-Daniel and his father Jan, 56, were attacked in their rented house early on Monday evening.

The part-time law student was killed when he stormed at the robbers with a chair in his hands.

He was shot nine times in the chest and stomach and died minutes later.

'How cold-blooded can one be?'

Van Veijeren said the robbers grabbed a silver ring from Jan-Daniel's finger as they fled from the scene of the murder.

"How cold-blooded can one be?"

His father Jan was hit in the shoulder during the shooting. The tip of the bullet is still stuck there.

Jan-Daniel's boerboel, Boela, was shot in his paw. After the attack the wounded dog went to lie on top of his dead owner's body.

The police were initially unable to approach Jan-Daniel's body because the dog was very aggressive.

He was later led away by Jan and locked in another room.

Van Veijeren - who is Jan's sister - said that even though Jan-Daniel's parents had been divorced for years, he lived for them.

"He was a true Christian and had a heart of gold. And now his young life had to be taken away from him by thugs without consciences," she said.

Family 'stunned'

"The family is stunned. They are broken. They're not doing well at all," she added.

The father and son had been watching television on Monday when the three robbers stormed into the house and Jan-Daniel rushed at them.

"He did it to protect his father and he sacrificed his life," Van Veijeren said.

A police task team was hot on the heels of the three suspects on Wednesday afternoon.

Jan's stolen bakkie was found near the Mozambican border on Wednesday morning. It is currently at the Tonga police station, police spokesperson Richard Khumalo said.

Jan-Daniel's funeral will be held at the Reformed Church in Barberton at 11:00 on Friday.