Shot dead as he protected his family

By ALEX MITCHLEY Time of article published Jun 29, 2013

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Pretoria - A Pretoria businessman was shot dead by five intruders on his farm in the early hours of Thursday while trying to protect his wife.

Roelof du Plessis, 46, was shot several times by five men after they entered his premises near Bronkhorstspruit, pistol-whipped his son and tried to attack his wife, Laura.

The five apparently went to the room of Du Plessis’s youngest son Riaan and asked where the main room was and how many people there were in the house.

They then allegedly beat the 19-year-old and dragged him to the living room.

Du Plessis was already in the living room trying to let the dogs out.

Police have not made any arrest.

Laura du Plessis, aged 45, said the couple would often get into a plane after work and fly around in the sunset over the Bronkhorstspruit Dam.

“He was such a brilliant man and had an amazing sense of humour, and an open heart. If you were in need of anything, it didn’t matter who you were, he would help. We built everything together. When we met, we had nothing,” she said.

Riaan said: “I told my dad not to move, just to stand still. He asked me what’s wrong and I said look behind me. Then they jumped on him and told us to get down on the ground,” said Riaan.

The dogs were making a noise and that’s when Laura entered the room with a torch, Riaan said .

“One stormed my mom with a gun and my dad tackled him. They started shooting at him and then ran away,” said Riaan.

They shot Du Plessis several times before fleeing.

During the shooting, Riaan managed to free himself from one of the intruders and ran to get help.

Laura said: “They shot him all over, a helpless man who was unarmed. He couldn’t defend himself.

“He didn’t even have a chance to tell them to just take what they wanted.

“After the shots were fired, I ran back to the room. Then I heard Roelof calling me, which were the last few minutes of his life.

“He said he was cold, so I got him blankets. Then he said he couldn’t breathe, so I tried CPR until the police arrived.

“He died in my arms for no reason… they didn’t take a single thing,” she said.

Laura added that the police arrived on the scene straight away, along with a forensics team.

According to family and employees, Du Plessis was an incredible man who touched the lives of many.

Du Plessis’s stepson, Daniel van Staden, 21, who lives in another house on the farm, said Du Plessis was intelligent and wise.

Du Plessis had a successful company called Rubicon X-ray services, which serviced and installed Phillips X-ray machines all over the country. The family have lived on the farm since 2006 and have never had any attacks before.

The family were grateful for all the help and wishes from friends and the community, they said.

Pretoria News

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