‘The pain stays with us’: Poppie’s grandmother a year on

2017-10-26 14:30
PHOTO: YOU archives

PHOTO: YOU archives

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

The murder trial of the mother and stepfather of Poppie van der Merwe will start on Monday in the high court in Pretoria – more than a year after the toddler’s death.

Poppie died on 25 October last year on a smallholding near Brits in North West, allegedly at the hands of her mother, Louisa Koekemoer, and stepfather, Kobus Koekemoer.

The toddler, who’d been severely beaten and kicked, was declared dead upon her arrival at hospital.

Carla van der Merwe, Poppie’s grandmother on her biological father’s side, sent a WhatsApp message to YOU on Wednesday: “The year went by quickly, but the pain stays with us. But there is a God and in His power we find comfort.”

She was unable to confirm whether she, her son – Poppie’s dad, Christo – and her husband, Johan, would feel up to attending the trial.

Christo is broken-hearted after his child’s death. Before she died, he’d allegedly not been allowed to see her very much. He told YOU in a previous interview that he misses his child terribly.

At the time of the tragedy Poppie and her elder brother had only been living with their mom and stepdad on the smallholding for a month since moving there from Orania in the Northern Cape.

Louisa and Kobus met in Orania. They were married in November 2015. The state will argue that Poppie’s abuse had started while the family were still living in Orania.

Kobus was arrested on the day of Poppie’s death and Louisa a few months later. They’ve been behind bars ever since after both were denied bail.

The couple are facing charges of murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and child abuse. A total of 10 days have been set aside for the trial.

Louisa’s mother, Susan Botha, told YOU on Wednesday she hasn’t had any contact with her daughter in months and doesn’t know if she’ll be attending the trial. She lives with family in the Eastern Cape.

“Actually I don’t want to talk to you about these things,” she said.

Poppie was buried in the Westonaria cemetery in Gauteng. In his last letter to his daughter, which he read at the funeral, Christo wrote: “Sleep softly, baby girl. You were only three years old. Your little beloved life was so precious to me.

“Your deep blue eyes and blond curls and your heart of gold. You’ve left a lasting imprint on our hearts and I can still hear you calling my name.”

 

Read more on:    poppie van der merwe

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.