Daniel Christoffel Van Heerden, father of former IBO welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden, was shot dead in South Africa.
The 61-year-old, who leaves behind 13 children, including Chris, was shot dead shortly after eating lunch in Meyerton, Gauteng.
Van Heerden Sr, who also has an MMA fighter son named Danie Jr, slipped away following a shocking incident in the arms of his son DonJaun.
DonJuan, 17, was with his dad on the corner of Johan le Roux near Bokkie Delport Scrapyard when he got into a confrontation with a security guard.
After a back and forth exchange, the security guard shot Van Heerden once in the back as he walked away after believing a crime was about to be committed.
That allegation is not proven, and the security guard is under arrest.
De Deur Police are still investigating.
Chris posted his shock, alongside brother Danie, while there’s since been an outpouring of support for the Van Heerden’s through social media.
“R.I.P Daddy – 1957-2018. The world needs to know what is happening in South Africa. The White populations are getting murdered one by one. Yesterday my dad was a victim of this!
“I lost my hero. Thank you for all the love and support,” wrote a heartbroken Chris, who flies to South Africa over the weekend from his Los Angeles base.
CHRIS VAN HEERDEN NOTIFICATION
Manager Peter Kahn was with Chris as authorities informed him about the tragedy.
“I spoke with Chris moments before he had learned the news and immediately after,” explained Kahn.
“He is heartbroken over the loss of his father, who was his best friend and role model. Chris is flying to South Africa on Saturday to lay his father to rest.
“He appreciates the outpouring of support and condolences that he has received from friends and fans around the world.”
Posting on Instagram, Danie said: “There are many kinds of dads out there. There are the gentle ones, the loving ones, the overprotective ones, and then there are the tough ones.
“You know who they are. Let’s thank them. No one ever seems to want to do that.”