Mom of victim of paedophile Gert van Rooyen speaks out

2019-02-15 14:38
Odette Boucher. (Photo: Archives)

Odette Boucher. (Photo: Archives)

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“I’d tell her I love her,” says Linette van der Lingen (67), whose daughter, Odette Boucher, was 11 years old when she was kidnapped by paedophile Gert van Rooyen and his partner, Joey Haarhoff. Odette would have turned 41 this week.

“That’s what we told each other whenever we said hi or goodbye, on the phone or in person. It’s still like that with my other two kids,” Linette explains.

“I still have the notes she used to leave on my pillow telling me how much she loves me . . .

“Valentine’s Day [14 February] was a quiet day for me. I wept in silence. But I’m also grateful to still have my other two kids.

“It doesn’t get any easier. It gets harder.

“It’s the same at Christmas. I always see her eyes in front of me. When I pray, I see her eyes,” Linette says.

“I hope she’s happy wherever she is. I would just like to know whether she’s safe and happy. Whether she’s started a new life for herself. I won’t bother her. I won’t upset things – I would just like to hold her again.

“Today isn’t a good day. Everything’s too raw.”

Gert van Rooyen

Pictures: Archives

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime
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