Pretoria, South Africa – One of Albertus de Jong's dogs guarded his body, presumably for three days, after he was murdered on his smallholding in Perdefontein near Wallmansthal, north of Pretoria. The other dog sat waiting at the house's front door until help arrived. The 66-year-old's maimed body had been left under plants. An axe lay nearby. De Jong, who came to South Africa from the Netherlands in the '80s, was presumably robbed and hacked to death with the axe sometime between Thursday night and Sunday morning.

De Jong’s friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, said when she arrived at the smallholding, one of the dogs was guarding the front door and the other sat near the body. “The dog sitting near Albertus' body kept looking from his body to the front door and back,” she said through her tears. The woman said she had gone to the smallholding when he didn't show up for Sunday lunch at her home in Pretoria. “I called him but there was no answer. I still spoke to him on Thursday…” she said. Then she called two friends and together the three went to De Jong’s smallholding to investigate.

“When we arrived, the gate was standing open and the padlock was gone. The front door was open and when we went inside, the place was a mess. They stole everything, even his bakkie.” They called emergency services and decided to wait for the police outside the gate, in case they couldn’t find the place. “We were on our way to the gate when I saw Albertus’ body lying under the plants. They had hacked him to death with an axe. The murder weapon was lying near him,” she said.

She said when the police arrived at the scene, one policeman said “wow, we’ve got some nice fingerprints on this axe”. The friend says De Jong has no family and was never married. “He had lunch with me every Sunday and he was usually on time.” She took the dogs to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to be put down. “They’re old. They loved Albertus and went everywhere with him. I know he wouldn’t want his dogs to live with someone else,” she said.

-BEELD