Valeska Abreu
1 minute read
12 Dec 2014
10:54 am

Hannelie Groenewald forgives Taliban for family’s murder (video)

Valeska Abreu

Hannelie Groenewald said she has forgiven the Taliban for the murder of her husband and two children in Kabul, Afghanistan two weeks ago. 

A picture released by the family shows the Groenewald family. (L-R) Werner Groenewald, 46, head of an education charity, his son Jean-Pierre, 17, his daughter Rode, 15, and one Afghan citizen have been killed in the latest Taliban strike in Kabul on November 29, 2014, on the compound of Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD), a small California-based education group, Kabul police told reporters on November 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / COURTESY OF THE FAMILY

Speaking ahead of their memorial service in Pretoria this morning, the doctor said she believed Werner, 46, Jean-Pierre,17, and Rode, 15, did not die in vain.

They were killed in an attack by Taliban suicide bombers.


UPDATE: Jean-Pierre Groenewald more comfortable in Kabul than SA

READ MORE: Groenwalds’ remains returned to SA 


The family had been living in Afganistan for the past 12 years as aid workers in the medical and educational fields.

Hannelie said the family lived freely and happily in the war stricken country and never had any intention of leaving.

The widow said she has found peace, and has placed her future in God’s hands.

“I do not believe that their deaths were in vain, I deem it as the highest privilege to die as a martyr for Christ. I know they are cheering me on to successfully complete life’s race set before me. ”

Asked if she would return to Afghanistan in the future, she said she was now in a period of grief.

“I am still mourning for the loss of my husband and children and need to be with my family during this time, but if it is God’s calling and will for me to go back, I will go.”

An extract from Jean-Pierre’s last blog post was read out by his mother. In it he talks of the life of freedom and happiness he lived in Kabul, stating he feels safer there then he ever didn’t South Africa.