A Gauteng father will have to live with the fact that he killed his beloved daughter in a case of mistaken identity during an attempted robbery by unknown intruders.

The case closely mirrors that of former Springbok Rudi “Vleis” Visagie, who shot and killed his only daughter Marlé on May 24, 2004, after mistaking her for a car thief.

Glenn Boshoff, of Centurion, could be charged with culpable homicide, according to the police, after the Friday morning tragedy.

According to the man’s brother-in-law, Jannie Maritz, Boshoff shot Edith, 8, known as Edi, through the closed door of his bedroom in a gated complex. Edi, a Grade 2 pupil, was hit in the head and died in hospital a short time later.

“My brother and his wife, Adele, are broken,” said Maritz.

The police said Boshoff was woken by the sound of his dogs’ frantic barking at around 3.30am. He went to investigate and reportedly saw an armed intruder at the foot of the staircase. A second man was climbing through a window.

“He screamed to his wife to fetch his gun, and then ran back into their bedroom, slammed the door and removed his gun from the safe,” said a spokesman.

Alerted by his father’s cries, the couple’s teenage son, Trevor, locked himself in his bedroom.

A terrified Edi ran to her parent’s room for reassurance, but when her father saw the door handle to the room moving, he fired the fatal shot.

Police believe there were at least six intruders involved in the attempted robbery, but at the time of going to press none had been apprehended.

The girl was rushed to the Life Unitas Hospital in the early hours of Friday in a critical condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Isobel Fowler said the girl died at about 11am.

The girl’s parents were severely traumatised and the hospital had arranged for them to see a counsellor.

Carin Clemons, a neighbour of the stricken family, said it was the fourth break-in at the complex. The electric fence around the property was not switched on because building work was in progress.

The only item removed from the Boshoffs’ home was a handbag.

The Director of Public Prosecution will wait until the investigation has been concluded before deciding whether to proceed with a charge of culpable homicide against the grieving father.

Sunday Tribune