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Johannesburg - A Brakpan mother is suspected to have shot and killed her three children before turning the gun on herself.

The gun belonged to her husband.

The bodies of the 40-year-old woman, her daughters aged 19 and 17 as well as her 10-year-old son were found laying in their living room that was partially burnt on Wednesday evening.

Although the bodies were also, they were still recognisable as the fire fighters had extinguished the flames before the corpses could be completely torched.

Brakpan police spokesperson Captain Pearl Van Staad said neighbours had called the fire brigade around 5pm when they noticed that the house was on fire.

The police had already been summoned as gunshots had been heard earlier.

Van Staad said the woman's husband also arrived shortly afterwards from work. 

Later, Van Staad said, the bodies with bullet wounds were later discovered inside the partially burnt house.

"We could not to talk to anyone to get details on what could have happened because the father was in such a state. We really can't determine what happened as unconfirmed reports are that the mother shot the children before shooting herself," she said.

Van Staad said the woman was a housewife and it was not known yet if the children had gone to school earlier.

It was also not known who burnt the house and what was used to torch it, Van Staad added.

"Investigations are still pending," Van Staad said.

The Star