'We don’t know what to believe': family of slain 9 year old devastated as mom admits to strangling her with rope

By Jacques Myburgh
11 August 2016

Soniya Koekemoer confessed to using a rope to strangle her daughter in their apartment.

The woman who was accused of killing her daughter in June has pleaded guilty to charges of murder.

Appearing in the regional court in Vanderbijlpark, Soniya Koekemoer confessed to using a rope to strangle Michelle (9) in their apartment.

Soniya’s mother, Elize and her step-father, Dawie Viljoen, have been in court every time since her first appearance on 25 June.

“We are so confused,” said Dawie to YOU while they were on their way back from court. “So many things are going through our heads, we don’t know what to think or believe.”

Soniya pictured in court. PHOTO: Facebook Soniya pictured in court. PHOTO: Facebook

Soniya had initially said in a statement that she had found Michelle dead in her bed on 9 June. She claimed that burglars had used a rope to strangle her. She also claimed that she woke up with a rope around her neck.

She later called the police and gave herself up after she had gone to live with Dawie and Elize in Sasolburg.

Thursday was the first time since the incident that Elize and Dawie could give Soniya a hug before she returned to her holding cell. An emotional Soniya burst into tears as her mother Elize was greeting her.

“It was very hard for all of us. She is still our child and I was trying to console Elize the whole time,” says Dawie.

He suspects that the judge will sentence her to 25 years in prison, but her lawyer will try to bring it down to 15 years.

The sentencing will take place on 21 September at the regional court in Vanderbijlpark.

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