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Charlize Theron's South Africa childhood home a murder scene, again

Erin Conway-SmithGlobalPost.com

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Police are investigating the murder of a Benoni, South Africa man who was killed in the same house Charlize Theron grew up in — and where the Oscar-winning actress' mother shot and killed her father in self-defense.

A gang of robbers killed Barry Newland, the current resident the former Theron family home on Seventh Road in the Rynfield area of Benoni, near Johannesburg, on Friday, the Star newspaper reported

Newland ran a business from his home, repairing and selling cars, and the five robbers gained access to the property by pretending to be interested in viewing one of the cars, the Star said. The thieves forced him into a bathroom, tied him up and put a plastic bag over his head, leaving him to suffocate.

In 1991, when Theron was 15, her alcoholic father was shot by her mother, Gerda, after allegedly returning home drunk and threatening to kill both mother and daughter with his shotgun.

In a revealing 2004 interview with ABC News, Theron said her drunk father had fired his gun several times, including into her bedroom, before her mother grabbed a handgun and killed him.

Theron's mother Gerda Maritz was ruled to have acted to defend herself and her daughter, and was not prosecuted for the shooting. 

"The terrible thing is that everybody in South Africa has a gun … You know, but that's just the lifestyle there," Theron, who is known in South Africa as the "Benoni bombshell," told ABC.

"You shouldn't have those things around because when people get irrational and emotional and drunk, terrible things can happen," she said.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, with more than 40 murders a day, but the figure is slowly declining.

According to the Star, Newland was remembered by friends and family as a good man with "a big heart." No arrests have yet been made in connection with his death.