Johannesburg - A retired air force pilot shot dead an armed attacker in his home near Centurion, Pretoria, and chased off two others, Beeld reported on Friday.

The 73-year-old former colonel, who asked not to be identified, told Beeld he became angry “on the spot” because the intruders were bothering his wife, 71.

“In the last two years my wife has had a double mastectomy, battled breast cancer and had a double hip replacement. She's been through hell,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the newspaper, he was cleaning his swimming pool at 3pm on Thursday while his wife had an afternoon nap.

Three men broke down his front door and carried three television sets to their car.

The colonel went inside to switch on his computer and bumped into one of the intruders.

“When I saw him there with a gun in his hand, I immediately thought of my wife,” he told Beeld. The intruder took him to his bedroom.

However, once there, he got hold of his weapon and shot one of the men, who later died at the scene.

The colonel opened fire on the other intruders, who ran to their car and drove off.

The newspaper reported that the men took the television sets, jewellery, a camera and a small safe. - Sapa