Beetge sees daughters

2014-04-02 00:00

TESSA Beetge (37), who has recently returned home after serving a drug mule sentence in Brazil, has been reunited with her children after more than five years.

Suffering from flu, Beetge yesterday told sister paper Beeld how unhappy she was about media reports that she had turned her back not only her family but also her two teenage daughters.

This after her aunt, Margie Olsen, had waited in vain for Beetge at the O.R. Tambo Airport on Thursday.

“Can you even think that a mother would do such a thing?

“My whole life revolves around my children!”

She met her girls for the first time since her return at a mall in Pretoria.

“They were initially shy, but soon relaxed.

“I did not cry openly. I cried inside. It was very special,” she said.

She said it was very important to her to protect her girls, who are 15 and 17 years old.

During the interview Beetge said she had not yet spoken to her aunt, Margie Olsen. “She knew about the fears I had for the day I came back to South Africa. To me it felt like I was walking into a lion’s den.”

Beetge returned from Brazil in the company of three fellow convicted drug mules, the new love in her life, Shane Heydenrych (35) from Roodepoort and two people from Tanzania.

She is still trying to come to terms with the recent death of her mother, Marie Swanepoel (61). That, and the freedom she now has after five years’ incarceration.

“Those who know me best know what pain I went through and am still going through,” she said.

She is being supported by her father, Gert Swanepoel, from Margate.

Beetge denied leaving a note to say she did not want to see her girls yet and that she had knowingly smuggled drugs.

“Show me this note that they are talking about. I have always been open and honest with my children.”

Like Beetge, Heydenrych also has to start a new life. He said he has learnt from his mistakes and will never again hurt his family.

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