Letters may give clues - Family of woman accused of baby’s murder won’t pay for her funeral

2013-08-28 00:00

THE family of a woman who was found dead at a Port Edward home and who stood accused of murdering her infant child, won’t pay for her funeral.

No foul play is suspected in Juanita Oldewage’s death.

Investigators are hoping that a series of letters she had written prior to her death may provide clues as to why she took her life and add further information into the death of her child.

Juanita (28) and her estranged husband Christiaan Oldewage (27), were facing a charge of murdering their son Christiaan jnr in December 2012, just three weeks after the baby boy was born. They were both expected to appear before the Pretoria high court on December 2 for trial. Christiaan is currently in custody pending the trial.

The state claims that both parents beat the child to death or allowed him to be beaten to death.

Mike Bolhuis, a private investigator hired by Juanita to help prove her innocence just days after the child was found dead, told The Witness her family had abandoned her and as a result were not interested in paying towards her funeral costs.

“Her current partner on the South Coast is the only person who is showing great compassion during this period,” said Bolhuis.

He said Juanita had already tried to commit suicide since being charged, having used a mixture of drugs and alcohol to help complete the task.

“I anticipated she would attempt to take her life again. I informed those close to her but there is only so much they can do. After all she was an adult.

“Just like the first time she tried to take her life, I am informed she wrote several letters beforehand. I am hoping to get hold of these letters, which will hopefully provide insight into what actually transpired leading up to the child’s death.

“We urged her to enter into a plea bargain but she was adamant the death was not her or her husband’s fault,” said Bolhuis.

According to sister paper Beeld Juanita left Pretoria for Port Edward to escape the “paparazzi”.

She had been working as a bookkeeper at a bottle store operated by her partner. Bolhuis said she was not welcomed into the small Port Edward community.

Her advocate, Port Sheptsone-based Carlo Viljoen, said just three days before Juanita’s death he had withdrawn from her case.

“There were a number of issues, which I cannot disclose. However, one of them was her inability to pay for our services,” said Viljoen.

He confirmed that Juanita had been shunned by family and friends and portrayed as “a monster” in the press. However, he said there was sufficient evidence proving her innocence.

South Coast police media liaison officer Captain Gerald Mfeka said Port Edward police responded to the call from Juanita’s boyfriend’s home.

“She was already dead. Details are sketchy at this point. Port Edward detectives are investigating a inquest docket,” said Mfeka.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.