My brother was my best friend, says sister of slain Ceres man

| Pharie Sefali
Marline Olyn at the Ceres Magistrate’s court where the man accused of murdering her brother is appearing. Photo: Pharie Sefali.

Though it had taken her years to accept that he was gay, her brother had become her best friend, the sister of murdered Ceres 21-year-old David Olyn said last week.

“It took me years to accept my brother’s sexuality. It wasn’t easy for me and there were times I begged him to change,” Marline Olyn told GroundUp. “But when I finally accepted it we became friends, and he was my best friend. My family also eventually accepted him and loved him for who he was”.

She was speaking during the trial of Christo Oncker, who is accused of raping and murdering Olyn in March.

“I am younger than David but my family sent me because they can’t bear to come where such a crime happened.”

On Friday, the trial was postponed to Thursday this week because Oncker’s lawyer was not available and because the State was waiting for DNA results.

Olyn, from Williston in the Northern Cape, had come to Ceres to look for work, Marline Olyn said. He was the oldest child in the family and the breadwinner.

She described her brother as a cheerful person who loved people and loved to make dresses and to dress up like a woman.

“My family received a call from our cousin to tell us about what happened. My mother up to this day doesn’t want to talk about it and my father is still in shock”.

“I wish I could wake up from this dream.”

The gay community must stand together to change Ceres, said lesbian activist Daylene Koopman.

“The community thinks that we are disgusting and we are not normal. So by discriminating [against] us and raping us they think they will make us straight”, she said.

Most people in Ceres do not understand why people of the same sex date, said Koopman.

“When I came out as a lesbian, it took my mother two years to accept me and understand my sexuality. And some people say that if you are a lesbian you are not going to go far in life”, says Koopman.

Speaking at a community meeting organised by several organisations including Sonke Gender Justice, the Triangle Project, Free Gender, the Rural Development Centre from Ceres and youth workers from Wittenburg, she said Olyn’s death should not be in vain.

Activist Daniel Peterson said the problem was lack of respect for each other.

“People just do not respect each other and it doesn’t matter if you are gay or not. If people want to rape you they will rape you regardless of your sexual preferences,” he said.

Oncker’s mother did not want to talk about her son. However, his brother, Justin Oncker, said he himself was gay and his brother would not kill another gay person.

“Our mother’s sister died when Christo was arrested. We asked if he could be released for the funeral but that was refused,” said Justin Oncker.

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TOPICS:  Crime Murder Violence

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