A terrified five-year-old boy allegedly watched helplessly as his agitated father assaulted and shot his mother before turning the gun on himself at their home.
The incident occurred at Senotlelo village in Mpumalanga minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve.
Colonel Leonard Hlathi, of the Mpumalanga provincial police, said yesterday that the 40-year-old man and his 26-year-old wife, of Mmametlhake district, were quarrelling at about 11.30pm while the five-year-old looked on.
The man apparently assaulted his wife before shooting her.
They arrived at the scene and found that it [the gunshot] was their son-in-law committing suicide. He died at the scene. The woman was then rushed to Mmametlhake Provincial Hospital in a serious condition. She died in hospital yesterday morning from the injuries she had sustained," he said.