Husband of Herolds Bay woman, kids who died may sue over Facebook 'slander'
Cape Town – The spouse of Heidi Scheepers, who died with their two children near Herolds Bay last month, has taken legal steps against the administrators of a Facebook page, who have since removed it.
Ettienne Scheepers claims through his attorneys, A Chimes van Wyk, that the page, "Murder she wrote investigations and discussions", is nothing more than a platform where he is being grossly defamed and which has caused him grave reputational harm as well as to his business interests, Algoa FM reported.
In a letter, the administrators of the Facebook page, Theresa Mathews and Chantall Strydom Dobson, were warned that they are personally liable for what they allow on the page. Donald Curtis, from the law firm A Chimes van Wyk in George, confirmed to Netwerk24 that they are representing Scheepers.
A deadline of 2pm on Thursday was given for Mathews and Dobson to comply. There was no trace of the page on Facebook today after the administrators had asked members to urgently remove their comments.
Some of the discussions on the Facebook page accused Scheepers of killing his wife, plotting her murder, having an affair and driving his wife to suicide.
Liza Craig Velthuizen posted on Facebook yesterday: "Vir elkeen van julle wat so klippe gegooi het, sonder om seker te maak van julle feite, ek hoop Etienne Scheepers het ook skermskote van AL julle leuens, valse bewerings en kommentare, en dagvaar die sewe soorte rook uit julle ook ... ja, van julle is op my vriendelys ook!!!!! Selfs NA ek die situasie aan elkeen verduidelik het, het julle steeds volgehou hiermee!!! (For each of you who threw stones without making sure of your facts, I hope Etienne Scheepers also has screen shots of ALL your lies, false allegations and comments, and sues seven types of smoke out of you as well ... Yes, some of you are on my friends list too !!!!! Even after I explained the situation to everyone, you continued to do so !!!)
Scheepers is now seeking financial compensation by way of damages for defamation.
Meanwhile, Southern Cape police have called off the search for the missing 6-year-old Cozette Scheepers. The bodies of Cozette's 2-year-old brother Hugo and her 35-year-old mother Heidi were found in the sea after they went missing on October 22.
At the weekend, family and friends paid their last respects during a memorial service at Eden Place Church.
On October 24, Heidi's vehicle, a VW Caravelle, was found at the bottom of a cliff at Voëlklip beach.
Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said this week there would still be sporadic patrols along the coastline.
“Basically the search has been called off but we will continue with sporadic patrols in that area. It's not scheduled patrols but acting on information from the public.”
The Scheepers family lived close to Voëlklip beach and went missing after going for a walk at about 6pm, initially accompanied by Ettienne.
In the George Herald, Ettienne denied rumours at the end of last month of insurance fraud, financial problems, physical abuse and an extramarital affair.
"We took a drive down to the beach to spend time with the children. We however did not get out of the car as the weather was bad.
"We discussed our upcoming holiday to Mozambique when Heidi informed me that she would be staying behind. We had a big consignment of stock arriving at the shop (Herold’s Bay Café) and one of our employees had suddenly resigned.
"I told her that we’d talk about it at home. We did not have an argument of any kind,” Ettienne said.
"We are personally financially sound and our businesses are doing well. We are in no financial plight. I also did not commit any form of fraud, have any affairs or beat my wife and children."
Regarding rumours about Heidi suffering from depression, he admitted that she had gone through a "dip" last year.
"She received medication and treatment for it and earlier this year the doctors said she didn't need any medication or treatment any more. It was under control and she was fine."