READ: Letters, pills - inside the Wellington fire deaths probe

2017-06-19 11:22
Jacques and Sunita van Dyk who died of smoke inhalation during a fire at a farmhouse outside Wellington in May. (Facebook)

Jacques and Sunita van Dyk who died of smoke inhalation during a fire at a farmhouse outside Wellington in May. (Facebook)

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Cape Town - Forensic tests may reveal more about the deaths of a Wellington couple in a bizarre fire, which has become the centre of at least two investigations, one of which involving probes into intimate relationships and the scrutinising of a series of letters.

News24 understands that the forensic tests, which could be finalised within a few weeks, may reveal whether Sunita van Dyk, 31, and her husband Jacques, had taken any pills before their deaths.

The forensic tests form part of a police investigation.

A second private probe is being conducted into the deaths.


It is understood that boxes of pills, one a type of a sedative, were found in the Van Dyks gutted home on the Oakdene farm outside Wellington after the blaze, which was discovered at 03:15 on May 10.

One of the letters, forming part of the private probe, was apparently written by a friend of Sunita’s, and also refers to pills.

In the letter, the friend, who sources say was unusually close to Sunita - given Sunita's actions which should have angered her - describes being "green with jealousy" that Sunita is away with other friends and goes on to say that she hopes one of them "will also take your pills out your bag and give it to you".

However, the letter did not go into details about the pills.


Several puzzling factors have emerged in the matter.

This includes that the couple did not appear to try and flee the burning home.

Neither did their dog, Skollie.

Skollie's body was found in a passage.

Sunita and Jacques apparently did not try and get out the bathroom window - their bodies were found in the bathroom, with Sunita’s flimsily clothed body in the bath.

Sources say some potential evidence appeared to have been removed from the scene following the fire.

It was not yet clear if this was intentional or not.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear and, while a post-mortem has found Sunita and Jacques died of smoke inhalation, unexplained injuries were picked up on Sunita's body.

Neck injuries

Last week, it emerged that a post-mortem had found that Sunita had also sustained neck injuries.

The injuries, according to sources with knowledge of the case, were consistent with having been strangled.

Jacques's family hired a private investigator to look into the the fire and incidents surrounding it.

This resulted in the private probe being conducted.

It includes investigating meetings Sunita had before her death, her relationships - especially with someone said to have come across as obsessed with her - as well as letters, messages and telephone calls Sunita sent and received shortly before her death.

Private probe - letters

News24 has seen some of the letters sent to Sunita from a woman who is said to have been friends with her for about two months.

The letters include the one which refers to pills.

Another, which is handwritten, has a passage of typed words - an apparent Bob Marley quote - pasted onto it.

[See the rest of the letters below]

The typed text starts off with the words: “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around.”

This handwritten letter says the typed text makes the writer think of two people - Sunita and her husband.

A typed letter says it is exactly two months since the writer and Sunita became friends and it’s been the most wonderful two months ever.

The writer hopes their friendship will "just grow and grow - like the flowers you gave me".

It says the writer bought two cups, one for herself and one for Sunita.

"So each time you drink tea you must think of me and I’ll think of you."

The letter says the writer drinks cups of coffee or tea about ten times a day.

Images of four pink hearts end the letter.

Police investigation

The second investigation, headed by police, involves the forensic tests.

Last week, police said a forensic report was yet to be received.

An inquest docket into the deaths had been opened.

Three weeks before her death, it had emerged that Sunita was having an affair.

She had been a teacher at Paarl Gymnasium Primary.


Earlier this month, the principal of Paarl Gymnasium Primary, Danie le Roux, wrote a letter to parents about the matter.

Netwerk24 reported that he wrote that, in trying to mentor and help someone, he had crossed the line in terms of professionalism.

"Me and my wife allowed one of our staff members to come close to us at a personal and emotional level," Le Roux wrote.

In response to a request for comment about the letters, Le Roux told Netwerk24: "You have the story so wrong it's actually ridiculous. We are no longer interested in being part of this circus."

Some names and references have been blocked out to protect certain identities.  
Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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