Dad kills wife, then himself

THREE children, aged between four and 11 years, have been orphaned after their mother was knifed to death and their father committed suicide.

After reportedly assaulting and fatally stabbing his wife, the father of four shot himself in the head, dying instantly as police were preparing to enter the house on Thursday evening.

Inside the house police found the bloodied body of the 39-year-old mother of three children in the kitchen and that of her 51-year-old husband in the bathroom.

The couple were in the process of divorcing when they died in their home in Jasmin Street, Bronkhorstspruit, in Gauteng.

Their children, a four-year-old boy and two girls, aged 11 and five years, were at home when the deaths occurred. The husband also had a son from a previous marriage.

Neighbours said they heard the couple quarrelling late in the afternoon when the 11-year-old ran out of the family home screaming for help. A neighbour comforted her and stopped a passing car that drove them to the police station to get assistance.

Spokesman for the Bronkhorstspruit police cluster Johannes Japhta said that when police officers arrived at the house the gates were locked - with the young children standing near the house's garage.

"The police rammed the locked gate to gain entry ... a gunshot went off and when they got into the house, they discovered the two bodies."

A murder case and an inquest docket have been opened.

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