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Mourners celebrate the life of murdered Jesse Hess

The 19-year-old University of the Western Cape (UWC) student and her 85-year-old grandfather were found murdered in their Parow home earlier this week.

Jesse Hess and her grandfather were found murdered in their Parow home. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Hundreds of mourners are gathered at the Jubilee Church in Parow in Cape Town to pay respect to murdered woman Jesse Hess.

The 19-year-old University of the Western Cape (UWC) student and her 85-year-old grandfather were found murdered in their Parow home earlier this week.

The theology student’s funeral is a celebration of her life, with speakers addressing mourners and spiritual dancing in honour of murdered the teenager.

Sandy Hess remembered her niece as a blossoming young woman who lived with passion.

“I was always the one who would put verses down, so if she comes into the room she would look into the verse and I would constantly remind her of the word. In 2015 Jesse gave her heart to the Lord and she got baptised, that was the happiest day of my life.”

Doctor Demaine Solomons, from UWC’s Religion and Theology Department, said Hess was an A-student with a selfless will to help others.

“Last week Monday I handed out the marks of a semester test to more than 600 students, and Jesse was the only one who had a distinction.”

Hess’s grandfather, Chris Lategan, will be laid to rest next weekend.

A ROLE MODEL WE LOOKED UP TO

Police said they were still hunting the killers of Hess and her grandfather.

The theology student was Kim Scholtz’s church youth leader and she remembered the teenager as someone she could look up to, despite her being younger.

“She set the footsteps for us to follow. The loss has just been very difficult and very heartsore,” she said.

Another church youth member Leandro Benjamin said he was finding solace in his belief that Jesse is in heaven.

“Everywhere we look, there are people dying and people being killed. I don’t agree with the fact that or the way in which she went. It was very brutal. Yes, I have heard a lot of people saying we must bring back the death penalty, but as a Christian and a firm believer, we need to forgive those people. Yes, they must pay for what they did but they must also be forgiven.”

The motive behind the killings is still under investigation.

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