'I still miss her a lot' - Sunita's mom speaks about daughter's mysterious death

2017-09-07 11:16
Susan Marais with her daughter, Sunita van Dyk, with whom she stayed two months before she died. (Facebook, Netwerk24)

Susan Marais with her daughter, Sunita van Dyk, with whom she stayed two months before she died. (Facebook, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - "I'm coping, but I still miss her a lot," says Susan Marais, the mother of Sunita van Dyk, whose burnt body was found along with that of her husband Jacques, on a farm near Wellington in May.

In her first interview since the deaths, she told Netwerk24 on Wednesday that she was still very emotional about what had happened. Marais had been staying with the couple before moving back to Wellington.

She was a primary school teacher, like her daughter. She'd retired, but started teaching again in August. And this new challenge is helping her deal with her daughter's death.

"I think I can perhaps still make a difference in a child’s life and do my bit for the community."

The burnt bodies of Sunita and her husband were found under mysterious circumstances in the bathroom of their razed house.

Sunita was lying in the water-filled bath and Jacques was on his back on the floor. Their dog, Skollie, was also found dead.

'Peace of mind'

Friends and family are of the opinion that there is more to their deaths than meets the eye.

There apparently were no signs that they'd tried to get out through the bathroom window. The post mortem also showed Sunita had sustained neck injuries.

These are consistent with her being strangled, but the cause of death has been ruled smoke inhalation. Jacques also died as a result of smoke inhalation. 

After all these months, Marais says, it will be a relief to know exactly what happened.

"It will do wonders for my peace of mind," she said of the possibility that she might know by the end of September if there was foul play involved in her daughter's death.

Netwerk24 reported on Tuesday that the results of a toxicology report, which would indicate if Jacques and Sunita used drugs on the night of their death, will be made public by the end of September.

It is the only report which is still outstanding.

She said she has had bad mood swings after the tragedy, which came just two years after the death of her husband, Rassie.

Her only remaining relative is her son, Marnus, 28. "He lives far away at Vioolsdrift," she said. But the Wellington community is very supportive.

"I have wonderful townsfolk and churchgoers here, and they are very supportive of me," she said.

'A lot of pills'

Marnus had earlier told Rapport his mom had asked Danie le Roux, the principal at Paarl Gymnasium Primary, where Sunita had been a teacher, and his wife Eloise to retrieve Sunita's ID document from her car and to get the ashes of his father out of the Van Dyks' safe.

"Unfortunately there was nothing to salvage."

In a WhatsApp message Sunita had sent Eloise on the night of the fire, she said she'd "taken a lot of pills".

It's said that empty pill containers were found in the burnt down house. According to Eloise, Sunita had been using anti-depressants.

Sunita is alleged to have had an affair with the principal, which he has vehemently denied.

Read more on:    jacques van dyk  |  sunita van dyk  |  cape town  |  fires

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