Couple's evening of drugs and drinks ends tragically

Freddie and Idali van Zyl. (Supplied, Netwerk24)
Freddie and Idali van Zyl. (Supplied, Netwerk24)

Cape Town - One thing Freddie van Zyl, 42, wants people to know about his late wife, Idali, is that she wasn't a junkie.

That's after Van Zyl woke up in a pool of blood in his home in Bredasdorp on Thursday morning with a wound to his shoulder and scratches on his face, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday.

He found his 39-year-old wife dead on the toilet with a piece of toilet paper still in her hand. There was vomit on the floor in front of her and her lips were blue.  

"I couldn't remember anything," he said.

The last thing he recalls of the previous evening is Idali receiving a message from his sister, Maretha Jamneck, that the growth removed from her uterus was benign.

"Get us another bottle of wine, Maretha hasn’t got cancer," Idali apparently said.

"We had a fun evening, we made music on YouTube," said Van Zyl.

Drug overdose

He said a post-mortem showed that Idali had died from a drug overdose.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said no foul play was suspected at this stage and details of the post-mortem would be revealed at a later stage.

A source confirmed that Idali had not sustained any injuries.   

Van Zyl said he and Idali had decided that evening to each use about 4ml of the drug "Liquid G". Friends had given it to them in an old water bottle and they mixed it with red cooldrink because it apparently tasted vile. The couple had used the drug before. 

"It was one of the best times ever," Van Zyl said of the previous time he and Idali had used the drug. "The buzz lasts for three to four hours. It makes you very loving."

- Health24: The dangers of drug abuse

Idali apparently hadn't wanted to use the drug on Wednesday evening, but because their children had been with Jamneck, the couple decided to braai and chill out.

Both of them drank food supplements for breakfast and lunch because they were on a diet. Van Zyl drank two bottles of wine and Idali, one.

- Health24: The effects of alcohol on the body

"On Thursday morning I realised that the braai meat was still there and we obviously hadn't eaten," said Van Zyl.

He woke up on the couch, but couldn't see well. He stumbled to the bedroom and fell asleep again.

At about 10:00 he woke up for the second time when Idali's cellphone started ringing. When he got up, he found his wife dead in the bathroom. He phoned his brother-in-law, who rushed over.

"We tried waking her up, but her lips were already blue."

Woke up in 'litres of blood'

Zyl said police had found his and Idali's chairs overturned on opposite sides of the dining table. An empty magnum wine bottle, which they had used to put in R5 coins to save up for a holiday, had broken in half and was found on the floor.

"It seems as if I fell off the chair and into the bottle. There was about two to three litres of blood on the couch, and the bed was also full of blood. They suspect that if the bottle hadn't broken my fall, I would also have been dead," said Van Zyl.  

"I must have fallen head first. That's the only explanation I can think of."

He had to receive 20 stitches to his shoulder.


Van Zyl is most upset about stories doing the rounds that he murdered his wife and her neck had been broken.

"There wasn't a mark on her," he said.  

"I miss Idali. I'm empty [without her]."

Van Zyl said he wanted to warn people against taking any drugs. "We never had drugs in our house," he said.

"It was a once-off. She wasn't a druggie."

"They were happily married," Jamneck said.

"We were genuinely happy," said Van Zyl. The couple would have celebrated their 10th anniversary on September 22, Idali's 40th birthday.

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