Jan Hettema was killed by a pair of gun-wielding robbers who ransacked his smallholding in Tweedrag, east of Pretoria, before shooting him at about 8am. His wife Ulsa was assaulted.

Pretoria - Slain former Springbok rally driver and cyclist Jan Hettema, 82, did not feel safe on his plot and had been battling to sell the property for three years.

This is according to his daughter Helena Hettema who said her father had told them on a number of occasions that he felt he was in danger living on the isolated 10ha plot.

“My father was aware of the danger he was in and that he wasn't safe but he was having a really tough time trying to sell the property.

“He really did try his best to move and he wasn't a hermit,” she said.

“My father was very open-minded and proudly South African. It's such a pity that people did something so random to him.

“But that is the South African thing nowadays, it's not safe.”

Helena said the whole family was still devastated by the senseless killing but were trying their best to come to terms with her father's death.

“Strangely enough, my father had actually spoken to some friends on Tuesday of how he was not afraid of death,” she said.

Helena, a popular actress, singer and award-winning cabaret artist, said despite the death of her father she was determined to perform in a show on Saturday as it would be what her father would have wanted her to do.

“My father will forever be a part of me and I know that despite this he would want us to carry on with the show and make something of my career.

“The end of this year will mark 21 years since my first CD was released in 1995 and my 15th album, which will be a tribute to my dad, has him featured on two duets as well.

“My dad has always been a staunch supporter behind my career and I am going to keep going for him,” said Helena.

Two robbers were reported to have overpowered Hettema, his wife Ulsa, and a worker after which they ransacked his smallholding in Tweedrag, east of Pretoria.

The pair were said to have escaped with a laptop, cellphones and jewellery. Hettema was declared dead on the scene and was reported to have been shot once in the face.

The Rooiwynliefde hit-maker said her stepmother had been doing reasonably well, despite being assaulted by the robbers and was trying her best to stay strong.

“We will be coming together as a family to discuss the way forward, as I doubt she would want to stay at the house anymore.

“Thankfully she wasn't too badly hurt.”

Helena said she was also pleased that a book would be written about her father's life as he had really made his mark in the sporting world.

Hettema’s funeral will be held at the Brooklyn Methodist Church on Wednesday (July 6) at 3pm.

A tribute for Hettema’s fans and industry friends is to be held at the Kyalami racing circuit on July 8.

SAPS spokeswoman Captain Marissa van der Merwe said no arrests had been made so far and the police were still busy with further investigations.

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Pretoria News