'Where she is now there is no fear': Poppie laid to rest in heartrending ceremony

By Jana van der Merwe
04 November 2016

The heartbroken sobs of Poppie van der Merwe's father echoed through the Dutch Reformed Church in Westonaria on Friday, where the slain three-year-old's loved ones gathered to say their final goodbyes.

The heartbroken sobs of Poppie van der Merwe's father echoed through the Dutch Reformed Church in Westonaria on Friday, where the slain three-year-old's loved ones gathered to say their final goodbyes.

The toddler died last week, allegedly who died at the hands of her stepfather Kobus Koekemoer (43).

Christo van der Merwe, Poppie's father, was comforted by family before the service, for which he sat in the front row in a pink shirt, weeping.

At the entrance to church next to the small brown coffin sat Louisa Koekemoer, Poppie's mother, with a bruised face.

She was allegedly abducted and assaulted on Wednesday by a woman pretending to be a police officer, sources told YOU.


Read more: Poppie’s mother allegedly kidnapped, assaulted


Louisa's husband Kobus allegedly kicked and beat her to death last Tuesday on a property near Brits where he lived with Louisa, Poppie and her five-year-old son.

Poppie with her brother and mom Louisa. Poppie with her brother and mom Louisa.

Reverend Yolandi Benadé, who christened Poppie when she was a baby, read out a letter from the family during the moving service.

"You have filled our lives with love and happiness, you gave us so much joy. We miss you, you will always live in our hearts, and this is where we will carry you until we meet again at the pearly gates.

"Poppie, play with the angels. "


Read more: ‘You’re going to die!’ man screams at Poppie’s stepdad in court


Afterwards, a recording of the children's song "Jesus Called the Little Children" was played for the congregation.

Rev. Yolandi recalled how Poppie and her brother were always running around the church, and when the ladies named "Poppie" because she was so beautiful.

Her real name is Louisa Cornelia Susanna, like her mother.

Kobus is still in custody and will appear in the Brits Magistrate's Court on November 17.

Kobus Koekemoer PHOTO: Facebook Kobus Koekemoer PHOTO: Facebook

The minister has urged people not to take revenge, but rather to learn from the little girl.


Read more: ‘My Poppie is safe with Jesus’: Father of murdered toddler


"Where she is now there is no fear or anxiety. God knows what happened. He gives us strength and peace."

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