Minetta McLachlan and her sister Maryke Mortagua, right, are comforted by a relative after their parents were found murdered in their house outside Vereeniging.
A man and his wife were brutally murdered on Saturday, less than a week after he tried to report the poisoning of their three dogs and an apparent death threat, but was turned away by the police.
The bodies of Jan Malan, 64, a former policeman, and his wife Susan, 60, were found by their domestic worker in their home on the Mooilande smallholdings outside Vereeniging at about 09:30 on Sunday.
Susan had been a clerk in the children’s court for 20 years.
They were presumably killed with knives and an axe. Malan was stabbed in his left side and had cuts to his head. His wife’s throat was cut.
Their eldest daughter, Minetta McLachlan, 39, said one of her parents’ neighbours called her with the news.
“The domestic, Jacobed, wanted to fetch the laundry in the house. She found my mother’s body in the passageway and my father’s body between the dining and living room.”
McLachlan immediately called her sister, Maryke Mortagua, 33. McLachlan’s husband, Ian, 43, went into the house while she waited outside.
“Ian said a scarf covered my mom’s face and he could see wounds on my father’s face.”
Three of the couple's dogs were poisoned last Monday.
“Two of my friends in the Vanderbijlpark police accompanied my father to the smallholding, where they found several bones with Temik, a two-step poison.”
“Someone told the domestic worker at church that my parents would be next and we didn’t know what to make of it.
“My father then tried to lay a charge at the Groendenne satellite police station, but he was turned away because there were jurisdiction problems,” said McLachlan.
The family hired a security guard to look after the smallholding at night. He was there until Thursday but they let him go after laser alarms were installed on the yard.
"We assumed someone would try something at night and not during the day.”
The attackers presumably broke a window to gain entry to the house and wait for the Malans. The couple stopped their car and were carrying groceries into the house when they were overpowered.
“My father’s wallet is still with the groceries on the kitchen cupboard. My mom usually first goes to put her handbag away in the bedroom and it was found next to her body in the passageway,” said McLachlan.
The family said it didn’t look like anything was stolen, but a police officer confirmed that the bedrooms had been ransacked.
The couple’s firearms were still locked away in the safe and the car was not stolen.
Police spokesperson constable Teboho Lephoto said they would investigate why Malan was turned away when he wanted to lay a charge.
Police questioned two young men from the area on Sunday night, but they were released.
They were going to Deneysville to look for another two men.