Today (Sunday) was supposed to honor the murdered Rev. to be Liezel de Jager’s 40th birthday. However, she was found dead 655 days ago at the rectory of the NG Church Suidkus on Amanzimtoti after she went jogging with a group of people.
She was only 38 years old at the time.
“Today I remember our baby who already in the cradle wanted to catch dust particles in the sun’s rays,” says Liezel’s father, Henk van Zyl. “As a young person and grown woman, her whole being cried out every morning: carpe diem!
“We miss you, my child. We love you, but celebrate your birthday even if you are in heaven,” reads Henk’s birthday message to his daughter.
De Jager’s family and friends, in collaboration with the pressure group Action Society, put together a video to commemorate her birthday.
“Liezel, I remember your birthday. The beautiful, unique, wonderful little girl that was given to me,” remembers her mother, Salomé.
“I was instantly in love and loved you until my last breath. Know that I miss you and that we hope to run into each other again in heaven in the future. Love, mom.”
The video also includes touching birthday messages from De Jager’s sister and friends she has known for more than 20 years.
“Our dearest Liezeltjie, she was the one who always made us laugh,” reads a message. “She was the one who told us about the value of the truth. She was such a beautiful example of love for us. We miss her insight. We miss her laugh. We miss her humanity. We miss Liezeltjie.
“Liezel will not be just another number in South Africa’s shocking crime statistics of violence against women and children. She will be remembered,” says Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society.
This is how the case progresses
Since De Jager’s murder on 13 October 2021, the police have made little progress with the case to date. Action Society has already followed up on the case 18 times.
“We actively led the investigating officer in the pursuit of justice for Liezel. But in all this time they have largely neglected to follow up evidence or give feedback to the family about new developments in the case.”
According to Cameron, there is a person of interest whose mobile phone may contain relevant information which, together with information from Liezel’s and her husband’s mobile phones, could lead to a breakthrough in the case. “We will continue to put pressure on the police to share their forensic analysis with us, especially the watch that Liezel was wearing at the time of her murder.”
Cameron says detectives have compiled a list of questions for De Jager’s husband, Werner, and asked him to answer these questions with the help of a polygraph test. However, according to Cameron, the police never followed up after Werner failed to show up for the test.
Cameron tells that after the murder, skin samples were found under Liezel’s fingernails, which suggests that there was some form of struggle between her and her killer.
Despite this information, no arrest has yet been made.