Into Africa

Laughing and joking as they admire the glowing embers of the barbecue, a shaky home video shows Brenda Thomas and her sister Heila Kilian clearly delighted to be reunited after more than a year apart.

Glass of wine in hand, the sisters play the fool for the camera, dissolving into giggles as they revel in each other’s company.

But half an hour later, Heila was dead – shot through the heart by masked intruders who burst in on the family in their home on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Retired British engineer David Thomas, 67, caught the final moments of his sister-in-law’s life as he and wife Brenda, 61, hosted a barbecue in her honour.

In an emotional interview with MailOnline he told how he and his wife, along with close friend Shaun Vorster, 51, were bundled to the ground and tied up as victim Heila, 63, died from a single shot.  

Father-of-two David was dragged into the darkness and had his head smashed repeatedly against a brick wall and had a gun put to his head and was told by his attackers they 'hate whites'. 

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