Liewe Heksie creator and voice

Liewe Heksie creator and voice of Bennie Boekwurm dies

Verna Vels, creator of Liewe Heksie, has died at her home in Johannesburg at age 81

Liewe Heksie creator and voice

Liewe Heksie first came to life as a radio story series in 1961. After being released on vinyl records and adapted as children’s books, Liewe Heksie made her TV debut in 1981.

By then, Vels had been working at the SABC for 27 years. By the time she retired in 1993, she held the highest executive position occupied by a woman in the industry. Even after retiring, she still worked part time on SA soapie 7de Laan. Vels’ career was a primary focus, and she said in an interview with JacarandaFM that it kept her “open-minded”. “I was having too much fun to get married,” she explained.

Vels also worked on “Kraaines” and “Wielie Wielie Walie”, and was the voice behind the beloved “Bennie Boekwurm”.


Veteran news anchor Riaan Cruywagen was the voice of many characters in Liewe Heksie, including Koning Rosekrans; Kerrie and Borrie.


Kerrie en Borrie

The SABC announced on Friday that Vels “played a critical role in the development and execution of programmes at the SABC”.

Fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to Vels, Liewe Heksie and Bennie Boekwurm:

Watch a clip of the first episode of Liewe Heksie (1981) here: