It is believed the financially ruined mother drugged her children with sleeping tablets before shooting them in their beds.
Cape Town – Family, school holidays, a cottage in the Cederberg: it sounds perfectly idyllic. Except for the Meyers from Moorreesburg.
It started to emerge that they deliberately chose a remote stone house on the Keurbosfontein guest farm near Clanwilliam.
No one knows exactly when, but around June 18, soon after they arrived, one of the adults, most likely mother Teresa, 48, shot her kids Lurese, 12, and Luhann, 10, and husband Luhan, 58, in their heads. Then she lay down on the double bed and shot herself in the head with the .22 pistol later found next to her.
Sources say the mother drugged her children with sleeping tablets dissolved in Coke before shooting them where they lay in their single beds. The couple’s bodies were found next to one another on the double bed in the single roomed cottage. Blood underneath Teresa’s shoes suggests she was the shooter, says the source.
Their decomposing bodies were only discovered by farm workers on June 27 after they became worried about not seeing the family out and about.
While the motive for the family slaying remains hazy, it’s believed that it was financial stress – probably linked to R46 million in fraud charges that the Meyer couple were facing.
Sources are reporting that in a letter to her Bloemfontein lawyer Herman Kleynhans, Teresa wrote that by the time he read it she and her family would be dead.
“I’m sorry, but Luhan and I can’t go on anymore. We are financially ruined with no light at the end of the dark tunnel.”
The letter was typed and unsigned.
Meyer allegedly wrote that legal costs had bankrupted her over a period of nine years.
She and her husband were accused in the Bloemfontein regional court of truck financing fraud to the tune of R46m when they lived in Jacobsdal in the Free State. Teresa had also been charged with theft of R4.9m from the South African Revenue Service.
A shocked Kleynhans told journalists that he detected no hint of desperation during consultations with the Meyers. “I was totally shocked. I was always struck by how much she loved her kids.”
Teresa’s son from her first marriage, Dewald Coutts, said he was too emotionally exhausted to respond.
“My family is dead and I need time to process it. It’s been a difficult week.”
SAPS declined to elaborate on the slayings. “Circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation,” said a spokesperson.