One of the teenage girls who was killed in an apparent family murder in Brakpan on July 10 had been molested by a family member, she alleged in WhatsApp messages to her boyfriend. 

According to Rapport, Lee-Ann Schwartz, 16, sent messages to her boyfriend days before the tragedy that left her, her mother and her siblings dead. 

News24 reported that a mother from Sallies Village in Brakpan was suspected to have shot and killed her three children before setting their house alight and turning the gun on herself. 

The children were aged 19, 16 and 10.

Lee-Ann reportedly wrote: “He touches me all the time and I don’t know how to tell my mum.”  

“My eye twitches every time I see him,” she reportedly wrote in a separate message.

Her boyfriend asks: “Does he touch you where he shouldn’t?” She replies: “Yes, he would pretend to touch my hand but then [his hand] would wander downwards,” according to Rapport.

Johan Schwartz, 41, Lee-Ann’s stepfather, found the family dead and their house set alight when he returned from work.

Gauteng police are investigating what happened when Lee-Ann, Sheree, 19, and Simeon Schwartz, 10, were shot dead in their home. Their mother Sandra, 39, was found and she had a gunshot wound to the head.

“The owner of the house managed to extinguish the fire and tried to check for his family. He found his wife with their three children in the living room with the bullet wounds of a 9mm pistol, which was lying on the floor next to his wife,” police said in a statement.

Johan Schwartz being consoled by Mark Graham (neighbour) and Lammie du Toit (friend) at the funeral of his wife, stepdaughters and son. (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

The pistol belongs to Johan Schwartz. He was not at home at the time of the incident, police spokesperson Captain Pearl van Staad told News24.

“It is alleged that the mother shot the children and then shot herself,” Van Staad said.

“The husband’s firearm was lying next to her. He was away working.”

According to Van Staad, police are awaiting the results of the investigation into what caused the fire at the house, though it is believed that the woman set fire to the living room where the shootings took place.

Rapport reported that Lee-Ann told her boyfriend she was going to tell her mother about the alleged sexual abuse. The WhatsApp conversation then reportedly abruptly ended for several days and Lee-Ann didn’t respond to messages. 

Sandra’s mother told Rapport that police found a letter, written by her daughter, that contains mention of sexual abuse. 

On July 23, Netwerk24 reported that Johan Schwartz collapsed at the funeral of his wife, stepchildren and son. 

He was reportedly inconsolable and was supported by friends. 

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