A night out camping ended in tragedy when a young couple, who had been planning to marry, were brutally murdered.
Chef Christopher van Rooi, 33, and hotel housekeeping supervisor Lee-Ann Ram, 31, had been in a place they they had visited many times and regarded as their special spot in dunes near his home in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, when they were killed.
Ram’s body was found by her sister Yolanda Witlend, who went searching for her when she didn’t return home.
Both families of the couple, who have a young daughter, are battling to come to terms with the grisly murders.
Van Rooi’s father Christiaan says the reality has still not sunk in.
“Lee-Ann was burnt beyond recognition, Christopher was stabbed. I thought they would bury me first, but now I will be burying my son,” he said, as tears welled up in his eyes.
Van Rooi appeared to have a chest wound, but the police have not confirmed how he died.
The couple did not go to their respective homes on Sunday evening, leaving both their families worried .
Their daughter, Vania, 9, was with the Van Roois.
Witlend and her friends found the bodies on a dune between the Strandfontein Sewerage Works and the Rocklands recreation centre on Monday.
on Tuesday, there was still police crime scene tape cordoning off the scene. The ground and some shrubbery is charred and the remains of what could have been a sleeping bag lie melted on the ground.
The spot is peaceful with a birds-eye view of Rocklands, Westridge, Strandfontein, the ocean and mountains in the distance.
The couple spent many hours there. The past weekend was no exception.
Van Rooi had gone to Ram’s home in Shetland Crescent in Westridge in the early hours of Sunday morning and the two made their way to the dune close to his house in Cormorant Street.
That was the last time Witland saw her sister alive. The two were very close and shared the family home.
Witland said on Tuesday Van Rooi and Ram were planning to get married. They had been together for 10 years and had both recently starting working.
Police are investigating a double murder. There have been no arrests.