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Father-in-law in court over Irish dad's murder

THE father-in-law of an Irishman who was shot dead in South Africa along with his wife has appeared in court.

Erwin Franz Poppinger (75), who has been accused of murdering his relatives, was brought to Alberton magistrates' court yesterday so the charges against him could be read.

He is now back in Boksburg Prison where he was remanded in custody.

"Mr Poppinger only appeared briefly in court, his lawyer is now expected to make a formal bail application next week," Captain Maonyoni and officer Pillay confirmed to the Herald this morning.

The elderly man was charged with two counts of murder after Dubliner Kevin McGuirk (53) and his South African wife Kim (34) were found dead at their home in Alberton, in the suburbs of Johannesburg, on Tuesday morning.

Mr Poppinger had been living with his daughter and her husband at their home on Albany court when the incident occurred on Monday evening.

It is understood that the couple were shot at point-blank range around 10pm or 11pm when they were getting ready for bed.

A 9mm handgun, which is thought to belong to Mr Poppinger, was found on the scene and confiscated for evidence.

A post-mortem was carried out on Mr and Mrs McGuirk's remains, and their bodies have since been released to their families.

The Irish Embassy in Pretoria is providing assistance to Mr McGuirk's relatives, living in the country and in Ireland.

The Balgriffin, Dublin, native is survived by five children from a previous marriage.

A son and a daughter who were living in Ireland are expected to arrive in South Africa today.

It is yet unknown if they will bring back their father's remains to Ireland for a funeral or if the ceremony will take place in South Africa.

Mr McGuirk had been living in the African country for more than a decade, working as a tour guide and diving instructor.