Grieving husband opens his heart

Danielskuil - For two years the Van Niekerks travelled across the country together, but their "permanent honeymoon" was cut short by a violent crime.

Joe van Niekerk told Volksblad on Monday about the gruesome murder of his wife, Sylvia, on Friday in the guest cottage they were renting on the farm Boplaas, just outside Danielskuil.

Van Niekerk discovered his wife's body shortly after 17:00 when he came home from work. A 17-year-old suspect was arrested on Saturday afternoon after thorough investigative work by the police.

The suspect appeared in court on Monday. The case was postponed until Friday, at which time he may apply for bail.

Recent tragedies

The tragedy comes barely two weeks after Sylvia's brother died, and a year after Van Niekerk's 22-year-old son, Albert, died.

"The Lord leads us through deep waters, but He knows why," Van Niekerk said on Monday.

The couple got married about two years ago. Since their children had left home, they decided to sell their house and travel across the country, as Van Niekerk worked for a contracting firm in a number of different places.

They spent the past two months at Danielskuil while Van Niekerk worked at the Kolomela mine in Postmasburg.

He now wants to finish his contract and leave Danielskuil, since there are too many memories there.

Loving, creative person

Sylvia Van Niekerk will be cremated and her ashes will be scattered at Salt Rock on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. This was her favourite place, and she asked that her ashes be scattered there after her death.

Van Niekerk described his wife as a loving person who was touched when she saw beggars at the side of the road.

She was creative and had a passion for photography, writing and painting.

Shortly before the murder, at 14:47, she wrote on her Facebook profile: "To the world you may be just one person - but to one person you may be the world."

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