Barbie victim died of overdose

2010-03-14 22:57

Johannesburg - Jeannine du Plessis, 21, one of the victims of Cézanne Visser (also known as Advocate Barbie), died of a medication overdose before she was able to hang herself.

Beeld reported earlier that Du Plessis had hanged herself from a tree in the Kgalagadi area in Botswana last weekend.

According to Marié du Plessis, her mother, the police in Botswana and the post-mortem have now indicated that she planned to hang herself, but was presumably drugged and died before she was able to do so.

Her body was found underneath a tree with the rope still around her neck. According to her mother, she was HIV-positive.

The Botswana police found in the post-mortem that Jeannine had taken an overdose of schedule 7 medication, including sleeping pills. No foul play is suspected and the case has been closed.

Heroin addiction

According to her mother, the medication was prescribed to help her daughter with her drug rehabilitation. She was a heroin addict.

Jeannine had presumably already taken the medicine when she walked 100m into the bush last weekend. Her mother said she reportedly put the rope around her neck but died before she was able to tie a knot around her neck.

"She really tried to kick the drug addiction. She was devastated when Johan (Fourie, her boyfriend) left for Botswana yet again, so she decided to go with him," said her mother on Sunday.

Fourie works in Botswana, and they were supposed to stay there for six weeks before coming to South Africa for a week. She said the couple were planning to get married at the end of the year.

Not from children's home

Visser was recently found guilty of sex crimes, including indecent assault in Jeannine's case, and was sentenced to seven years in prison. During sentencing acting Judge Chris Eksteen said Visser's actions were "repulsive and appalling".

Jeannine's mother said on Sunday that the comment following the earlier report about her daughter had been upsetting.

"I just want to make it clear that Jeannine was not one of the children's home girls. I was a house mother there and my three daughters stayed with me," she said.

"And Johan isn't the biological father of Jeannine's child," she added.

She hopes she will soon be appointed the legal guardian of Jeannine's child.

"The whole thing is a little easier to deal with now that I have her little girl with me," she said.

Jeannine's body arrived in South Africa at the weekend and she will be buried this week.