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/

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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

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