‘Just pretend you’re dead’, wife tells her wounded husband

STEPHAN du Toit with his wife Louisa and their daughter when she was younger. Photograph: Facebook

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Glen Marais community shocked following father’s brutal murder

“JUST lie still and pretend you’re dead,” a desperate wife told her husband as he fell wounded to the ground.

The intruders had just fired a second bullet that went straight into his chest. She was tightly clinging her daughter, trying to protect her from the bullets.

“Please, please don’t hurt her, kill me instead.”

These were the desperate and emotional words Louisa du Toit cried the night her husband, Stephan, was shot and killed by intruders.

Du Toit was murdered in the bedroom of the family’s Norkem Park home in the early hours of Wednesday morning when three armed men gained entry into their complex at about 2am.

The robbers were able to enter the complex by inserting sticks between the wall and electric fencing.

Spokesman for Norkem SAPS, Capt Lesibana Molokomme, said the suspects entered the family’s unit through the kitchen, breaking through the burglar bars.

They made their way through the home to the couple’s bedroom, where they were sleeping with their five-year-old daughter.

A family member said Du Toit was woken by the dogs’ barking and got up to go quiet them down as he didn’t want them to wake his daughter.

“Just then the men (suspects) switched on the bedroom lights and saw Stephan getting out of bed,” the family member recounted the event.

Without a word of warning or demand for valuable items, one of the suspects shot at Stephan, hitting him in his left arm. He fell back onto the bed.

Immediately a mother’s intuition kicked in and Louisa threw her body over her daughter, and pleaded with the suspects not to shoot her child and told them to kill her instead.

The killers shot Stephan again, this time hitting him in the chest. He fell to the floor, at which point his wife told him to lie still and pretend he was dead.

“They then asked for money and other valuable things. They took cell phones, two laptops (the one being the little girl’s toy laptop) and snatched Louisa’s silver necklace from her neck.”

The men left the room. As if they hadn’t already tortured the family enough, one of the men turned back and shot Stephan in the back.

According to reports, Louisa then got up and told Stephan she was going to get help. As she left the house through the back door, she saw a figure moving outside. Thinking it was security, she called for help.

“But unfortunately it was one of the suspects, who pointed his gun at her and she ran back inside the bedroom to hide until she was sure they had left.”

She went outside again and screamed to neighbours for help, who were already up by then because of the noise.

Stephan was still alive when paramedics arrived at the scene but they could not save his life.

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