It has been more than a year since 30-year-old Meghan Cremer was found dead at a sand mine along Olieboom Road, Cape Town, on 8 August 2019.
She was attacked in her cottage at the Vaderlandsche Rietvlei farm in Philippi five days before her body was discovered. She was found strangled and bound with a blue ribbon around her neck, hands and feet.
In a rare interview, Maverick Citizen spoke to her mother, Mrs Cremer (first name withheld). Meghan Cremer was a small business owner, bakery manager and avid horse rider.
“It is an entire future that is gone. It affects the whole family and all of Meghan’s friends. The saddest thing about this is that it is so final. I will never see her get married, have children or have her own home.
“I will never know what her possible husband would have been like,” says Cremer as she sits down to talk about her only daughter.
Cremer describes Meghan as a humble, kind and generous woman who was always prepared to help those who were most neglected in their communities.
“Meghan has always been extremely humble. She was the type of person who will do things and never expect to be thanked. Half the time, no one knew she was involved with charity,” says Cremer.
Cremer proudly describes how Meghan made 30 Santa boxes the Christmas before she was killed. Cremer, who was visiting her daughter in Cape Town, was unaware until Meghan had to deliver all of them to an organisation and needed her mother’s help loading the boxes.
Meghan grew up in Knysna with her mother and older brother. After finishing school in 2007, she attended Rhodes University where she graduated with a Master of Science degree in microbiology. Her intention was to find a cure for horse sickness, as animals, particularly horses, were her passion.
After graduating, Meghan moved to Cape Town where she worked as a manager at her brother’s bakery and started her own small business, which involved making show ribbons and other accessories for horse riding competitions.
“Horses were Meghan’s life,” says Cremer. Meghan started riding when she was nine years old. She once took top honours in the Southern Cape championships, and continued to compete as an adult.
Because of her love of animals, Meghan chose to live in semi-rural Philippi on a horse farm where she also kept her horse, Sir Blue.
“She absolutely loved that horse; she had him for 15 years,” says Cremer, who sent Sir Blue to Plettenberg Bay Equitation Centre in Knysna after Meghan’s murder.
“I visit him often, but it is very emotional for me.”
Cremer scattered her daughter’s ashes at the farm where Sir Blue is retired.
“We planted some indigenous trees to attract butterflies and dragonflies, which she loved as a child.
Meghan’s love of animals extended beyond horses. She had rescued a sick, abused puppy six weeks before she was killed.
“Her name is Bella. Meghan nursed her back to health and helped her trust humans again. Bella loved her so much,” explains Cremer. She adds that Bella lives with the farm’s owners in Philippi.
Cremer says that Meghan and her brother had an extremely close relationship and says her son “battles to come to court because he cannot see Jeremy [Sias, the man accused of murdering Meghan] sitting in court. Jeremy worked on the farm where Meghan lived, and he probably walked past her cottage often.”
Meghan’s brother sold his bakery in Cape Town and moved to Pretoria with his wife and five-year-old-son, Meghan’s nephew.
“The fact that my grandson will never grow up with Meghan is devastating,” says Cremer.
Meghan and her nephew spent a lot of time together. Every Wednesday, she would pick him up and take him for ice-cream.
“My grandson still asks me when we will go for ice-cream with ‘aunty Meghan’,” says Cremer as she wipes away a tear.
Meghan was also a Harry Potter fanatic. “She was obsessed with Harry Potter! She must have seen the movies a hundred times and collected Harry Potter memorabilia,” says Cremer with a laugh.
“Meghan bought my grandson a small Harry Potter Gryffindor jersey shortly before she passed… he wears it often.”
Cremer says living without Meghan has taken a toll and has affected things in ways she did not expect.
“Meghan absolutely loved chocolate, and so do I, but since her passing I am unable to eat chocolate. It is not deliberate, but I physically cannot eat it,” says Cremer.
She says this time of year is particularly difficult for her and her family.
“Christmas has always been an enormous occasion for Meghan. All her decorations would have already been up. We did not celebrate last year and could not bear to hang up decorations and put up a tree.
“We will try this year because I also have my grandson to think about.”
“I miss Meghan every single day. I go out and see something and think ‘Meghan would love that’, but I cannot buy it for her.”
Meghan and her mother went to Addo Elephant National Park for every birthday. After the death of her daughter in August 2019, Cremer says she went to the park on her own to feel closer to Meghan.
Almost everything reminds her of Meghan.
She tears up: “I found a pillow [in the shops] that has the exact phrase Meghan always said to me: ‘Love you to the moon’.” DM/MC
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