George mom still looking for her daughter’s killer 18 years later

Not a day, hour or second goes by without this heartbroken mother thinking about her beloved daughter whose death in George 18 years ago remains shrouded in mystery.

Every day Christine Stewart-Brockbanks grapples with the following: Who fatally stabbed Leslie van Zyl on 28 August 2000  at the King George Hotel in this Western Cape town?

Nothing was stolen from Leslie at the time. 

“I’m haunted every day by thoughts of my daughter’s death. A part of me, my ex-husband and my son died with Leslie on that day,” Christine writes by email from Britain where she now lives with her second husband, Ian.  

Every year on the anniversary of her daughter’s murder she approahes the local newspaper in George to place an article about the incident. 

Eighteen years later she hasn’t lost hope that someone will come forward with new information. She says she’s not seeking the investigation to be reopened. 

“As far as I’m concerned the case has remained open.” 

Christine says through the years she’s remain resolute about keeping her daughter’s memory alive.

“I won’t allow anyone ever to forget her.” 

Although the killer was never apprehended, Christine is convinced Leslie knew the person.

“She opened the door for someone and tussled with whoever it was. Her calls for help were even reported at the reception. But no one followed it up.”

Four years after her first husband died from cancer, Christine met Ian and moved to Britain.

“I emigrated because I wasn’t feeling safe here anymore.” 

But Christine did ask her lawyer, Dolf Louw, to have the clothes Leslie wore 18 years ago investigated again for any forensic evidence that may have been missed before.

Asked what she’d say to her daughter’s murder if she had the opportunity to do so, she said she had nothing to tell the murderer.

“I wouldn’t ever want to talk to the person who deprived us of my beautiful daughter. I’d prefer to see him dead.

“But it bothers me that the person who killed my daughter for no reason at all is still walking free in the streets. I pray that before I die he (the murderer) will be behind bars.”