TESSA Steyn, the Nelson Mandela Bay policewoman shot dead by her estranged husband before he turned the gun on himself on New Year’s Day, was laid to rest yesterday.
Family, friends and colleagues filled the Van Stadens Dutch Reformed Church for the sermon.
In a moving service, Steyn, 43, was described as a wonderful, loving and doting mother who loved and adored her two children, Imke and Steph Rautenbach.
Imke, 12, who found her parents’ bodies at their Rocklands home just outside Port Elizabeth, paid tribute to her mother.
Steph, 9, was held by family members who comforted him.
Distraught mourners wept as the coffin was lifted into the hearse.
Steyn and Stephanus “Fanus” Rautenbach, 48, had dated for 12 years and eventually got married in December 2009. But the relationship had become rocky due to Rautenbach’s alleged alcohol abuse.
At the time of the shooting, Steyn had filed for divorce.
It is believed that Steyn – a warrant officer who was based at the Motherwell police station – had been lying on a couch when Rautenbach shot her in the head with a service pistol.
He apparently then shot himself in the temple.
Imke, who had been sleeping in the next room, was woken by the gunshots at about 4.30am. Steph was at a sleepover at their uncle’s neighbouring farm.
Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis said at the time police had recovered a service pistol and two empty cartridges at the scene.