Stella murders: Parents keep watch over hostel children at night

2018-05-31 12:54
Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht. (Photo: Instagram/

Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht. (Photo: Instagram/

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Parents of pupils at Stella High School's hostel sleep in shifts to keep watch, in an attempt to make their children feel safe again, chairman of the school’s governing body told YOU.

Silence rules in the rural town of Stella in the North West after Sharnelle Hough (17) and Marna Engelbrecht’s (16) bodies were found last weekend.

Residents are tight-lipped on the alleged murder of the two grade 11 pupils from the small agricultural school.

Richard Hopson, school governing body chairman, said their classmates were coping well under the circumstances.

"They still receive counselling. Some get individual counselling," he told YOU.

He said the school is relying on therapists to determine how long the youngsters will need their support and how intensive it will be.

Marna and Sharnelle were allegedly killed in Stella's hostel on Saturday morning. Sharnelle’s ex-boyfriend Xander Bylsma (19) was arrested in connection with the murders.

Sharnelle, or Lalla as loved ones called her, was found dead on Saturday. Hostel matrons discovered her body hanging from a rope from the guardrail on the stairs. According to the autopsy report, she was strangled.

Marna's body was later found by police in the hostel's bathroom. She is believed to have been strangled with a backpack strap.

Captain Charlize van der Linden, spokesman for Vryburg police, previously confirmed to YOU that Bylsma had made a confession. He is the only suspect.

Bylsma has already appeared in the Vryburg Magistrate's Court. The case was postponed until August for further investigation.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  stella  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.