Little Poppie van der Merwe laid to rest

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Poppie van der Merwe, who was allegedly murdered by her stepfather at Brits in North West, will be laid to rest in her biological father’s home town today. Poppie’s father, Christo van der Merwe, told Bloemfontein Courant this morning he is heartbroken by the death of his ‘little angle’. He has to however stand strong for his five year-old son who is currently staying with him. An emotional Van der Merwe said he missed out on his children’s upbringing the past few years as he had limited visiting rights. He was not married to their mother Louisa Bothma Koekemoer.

Van der Merwe says it is going well with his son under the circumstances. Van der Merwe, a diesel mechanic at a mine in Westonaria, says Poppie’s funeral is at noon today in the Dutch Reformed Church in Davies Street. Poppie’s stepfather, Kobus Koekemoer, is expected to apply for bail on November 17. Koekemoer allegedly kicked his stepdaughter repeatedly. She later died in a local hospital. – Christal-Lize Muller