The Vanderbijlpark man who shot dead six members of his family and later committed suicide had financial problems, according to a suicide note police found in his house.

The 55-year-old Koobus van Heerden left a note addressed to the police and his friends and relatives, police spokesperson Captain William Mcera said on Wednesday

"He explained in the letter that he could not cope with his family's financial problems anymore," said Mcera.

He also apologised to his relatives and friends for having to murder his family. To the police he wrote that he had killed his family and would flee and kill himself elsewhere.

The bodies of Van Heerden's family were discovered in their home around 10am on Tuesday.

Four boys between the ages of eight and 15, their mother, in her 40s, and their grandmother, in her 70s, were found with gunshot wounds to the head.

"The mother and the two little ones were lying on a bed in the main bedroom," said Mcera.

The other boy was found in the kitchen. "Another one had tried to hide in a cupboard in the passage. The grandmother was found on her bed," said Mcera.

Van Heerden then committed suicide later on Tuesday.

Mcera said the man shot and killed himself near Colesberg in the Northern Cape after he was chased by police in the area.

Initial indications were that he killed his family on Monday morning.

Police were alerted when someone tried to gain access to the house and noticed a strange smell. - Sapa