Timaru tragedy: Family and friends in South Africa “in shock” over the death of girls


Police have confirmed that three children under the age of 10 have died on an estate in Timaru. Detective Inspector Scott Anderson gave an update at 1 p.m. saying the deceased were siblings. Two were 2 and the other was 6.

Family and friends of the Dickason family cannot understand what went wrong in the lead up to the death of the couple’s three children in Timaru this week.

Two-year-old twin girls Maya and Karla and their six-year-old sister Liane were named as the dead children yesterday.

The mother of the three little girls appeared in court this morning and was charged with their murders.

Lauren Anne Dickason, 40, was arrested and charged and appeared in Timaru District Court on Saturday morning.

She is accused of murdering Liane Dickason (6) and her twin sisters Maya and Karla (2).

No lawsuit was filed.

Judge Dominic Dravizki remanded Dickason in a secure forensic psychiatric ward pending her next appearance before the Timaru High Court on October 5.

He ordered a mental health report to assess Dickason’s condition at the time
Violation of the crime law.

Jason Power, executive director of the South Canterbury District Health Board, expressed his grief after the incident “involving a member of the South Canterbury DHB team”.

“This tragedy hit many of our employees. At the moment, our focus is on offering our employees and our employees our full support.”

The grandparents of the children in South Africa say the entire extended family has been “in shock” since the news, Stuff said.

“The extended families are in shock as we try to understand what happened. We ask for your prayers and support during this very difficult time. We also ask for privacy as we struggle to come to terms with what happened,” she said called.

The children’s grandfather also told the Afrikaans website netwerk24.com that they were “unable” to discuss the case.

In a written statement he said: “[We] were devastated when we heard of the terrible tragedy. The rest of the family is in shock when we try to understand what happened. “

He also asked for prayers and support “during this extremely difficult time”.

Anyone who knows the couple describes the mother as “very modest” and “the nicest person”.

A woman was charged after two-year-old twins Karla and Maya Dickason and their six-year-old sister Liane were found dead in Timaru.  Photo / included
A woman was charged after two-year-old twins Karla and Maya Dickason and their six-year-old sister Liane were found dead in Timaru. Photo / included

“I can’t understand what happened – she’s a doctor and she wasn’t arrogant or anything. She was very humble,” former colleague and neighbor Natasja le Roux told the Sunday Times in South Africa.

“She was really just a nice person, her and her husband.”

The former neighbor said the couple struggled to have their children and were committed and loving parents.

“You’ve been waiting for these kids for years because she had fertility issues and all, so it’s really a big shock,” said le Roux.

Police at the scene of three young girls found dead in Timaru.  Photo / George Heard
Police at the scene of three young girls found dead in Timaru. Photo / George Heard

Mendy Sibanyoni, who worked as the couple’s nanny between 2018 and last year, told netwerk24.com that she burst into tears when she heard the news.

“These children, this family, are like my own. I was in their house … I went on vacation with them. [The parents] never argued. They were two favorites. What could have gone wrong? “

The couple had planned to visit South Africa next year, and the girls’ mother had promised to regularly send her pictures of the twins with whom Sibanyoni was closely connected.

“[She] is such a gentle person, very humble. They were such a happy family … “

A family friend told netwerk24.com that the couple had been married for 15 years and were “very excited” to emigrate to New Zealand.

“[The father] is such a gentle guy, smart and very popular. Now he’s all alone over there.

“Hell, you barely got there. You haven’t had time to make new friends. You probably don’t even know where the local shops are.”

Another former neighbor, who refused to be named, said the couple were very “grateful” for their children.

“They absolutely adored these children. They were so grateful that they had them because they had difficulty getting pregnant, and when they finally had the children, they loved them,” said the neighbor.

“Something just doesn’t seem right to us. We don’t know what happened. There isn’t a lot of information, but they are nice people.

The couple with their three children at the twins' birthday last November.  Photo / Facebook
The couple with their three children at the twins’ birthday last November. Photo / Facebook

“Something just doesn’t go together. I don’t know if the stress from New Zealand is moving there, being in quarantine for so long and all – just not coping with it. So I guess whatever happened is not normal. It was not a normal circumstance, “said the neighbor.

At the end of August the family moved from Pretoria to New Zealand. They had been in Timaru for about a week after immigrating and finishing their stay at MIQ.

Power, the chairman of the district’s health committee, said in his statement this morning that it was natural to “feel uneasy about what has happened.”

“I encourage anyone who needs to speak or write to the number 1737 – at any time of the day or night – there are trained advisors available around the clock. You can also speak to your own family doctor team.

“Many thanks to everyone who offered support and kind messages, including our colleagues from other DHBs.

“We are now asking the media and the wider community to respect this family’s privacy and give them the space they need right now.”

Since this is a police matter, it is not appropriate for the district health department to comment at this point, Power said.

A scene investigation continues today at the Queen St address.


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