Germiston dad allegedly kills his three children - then turns gun on himself
Hours before a Germiston father allegedly shot and killed his three children - then turned the gun on himself - he took to his Facebook page where he begged God to help him.
"Lord‚ please hold my hand firmly tonight‚" the former train driver wrote in Afrikaans on Monday.
One of his social media friends had reached out after his final ambiguous post‚ offering help‚ but it was too late.
"I will pray for you… contact me… I know an organisation could maybe help you. Where do you live?" the person wrote.
Captain Lesetje Mathobela said police were summoned to the scene in Elsburg shortly after 2.30am on Tuesday morning after a neighbour heard numerous gunshots.
"The son had been shot in the corridor of the house while the two daughters were shot while they were in bed‚" Mathobela said.
He is not being named until his next-of-kin have been informed of the tragedy.
His three children were in their 30s.
Police have not found a suicide note on the scene.
For weeks prior to his death‚ the man - who was widowed in October 2016 - poured his heart out on social media‚ sharing his depressed state and his fears.
On May 17 he posted: "Looking for a job please. The company where I worked has been placed under liquidation and now we are all out of work. Pray for us all."
Among the funny video clips and the updates on crime‚ the man also shared his thoughts on death.
“...Why is it so hard to go to death‚” he wrote on May 28.
Several people replied‚ offering to pray for him‚ reminding him that he had a lot to live for.
“Please don’t do it‚” said one.
Two days before that he wrote: "You get some people who try to live and then you get some people who try to die…. It is so difficult to die."
But it was his prayer on May 23 that shared how alone he felt.
"Dear Lord our Almighty Father... I kneel down before you. In my past I took wrong decisions and made mistakes. I also trusted people who left me in the lurch. I don't hold it against them but it’s all led me now to a place where I can no longer continue‚" his prayer read in part.
He prayed for those who had extended a helping hand to him‚ and to his family.
"I also want to thank those that are willing to help me and support me but they can only do so much‚ they are also weak and fallible people. Lord‚ (the Bible tells us) of the many miracles you have performed and so I ask you today‚ please can you bring me a miracle to change my circumstances? Lord‚ I do not have more words or better ways to plead for this... Please can I offer up the lives of myself‚ my family and friends to you please? Thank you Lord. Amen."
In his penultimate post‚ he shared this modified Bible verse: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so‚ I would not have told you that. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Police said foul play is not suspected. They are investigating three cases of murder and a suicide.