'I hope you're safe with God': daughter of slain KZN pastor at her memorial
Love, community, laughter and peace. This summed up slain NG Kerk Suidkus minister Liezel de Jager.
Moving tributes to the 38-year-old mother of two were central to her memorial service in Amanzimtoti, south of Durban, on Tuesday.
A massive portrait of a smiling de Jager, fairy lights, grey chiffon drapes and grand floral arrangements featured in the emotional farewell attended by her family, congregants and friends.
Her lifeless body was discovered by her husband Werner in the yard of their Athlone Park home on Wednesday.
TimesLIVE reported at the time that she was found with strangulation marks on her neck and none of her possessions had been taken. She had returned home from a jog.
On Tuesday her brother Herman Coetzee paid tribute to De Jager by reading out touching messages from her parents, husband and children.
He described her as a daughter and sister “through thick and thin”.
De Jager was also remembered for her love for a hearty laugh. Coetzee said one of De Jager's best qualities was the love she had for people and to show people how much God loved and lived through them.
“Liezeltjie, you always said how one day you wanted to go to heaven but that day came too quickly.”
Her parents described her as their “sunshine child”.
“Our precious child thank you for your love. You lived your life to the fullest ... you will live on through your two daughters.”
In his brief message, Werner said he wished he had written her more notes and poems.
“You know me and our girls love you dearly. You have left a void in our lives. We will miss you forever. Rest in God's arms, my love.
“Know everybody misses you and will for years,” he said.
Coetzee could not contain his tears when he read a message from De Jager's daughter Lane, who said: “I hope you are safe there with God and that you don't feel any pain. We miss you a lot and we are heartsore. It's OK to be heartsore. We will always remember you.”
De Jager's colleague and friend Marius Schoombie told mourners there “are few answers and many questions
“Our hearts are broken. One day we will know what happened, but for now we know He is crying with us, He is with us and He will make a new life for us. We know that He will keep us in the light that Liezel shone.”
The police are still investigating her death.