South African teen 'strangled friends and made it look like suicide'

A teenager allegedly strangled his ex-girlfriend and her best friend then staged the scene to look like they both committed suicide.

Sharnelle Hough, 17, was found hanging from a rope tied to a guardrail on the stairs of her room in Stella High School in northwest South Africa on Saturday.

Her friend and roommate Marna Engelbrecht, 16, was found on the bathroom floor with the strap of a backpack tied tightly around her neck.

Sharnelle Hough, 17, (left) and her roommate Marna Engelbrecht, 16, (right) were murdered in their high school dorm in northwest South Africa

Sharnelle Hough, 17, (left) and her roommate Marna Engelbrecht, 16, (right) were murdered in their high school dorm in northwest South Africa

Sharnelle's ex-boyfriend Xander Bylsma, 19, (pictured together) allegedly strangled them with his bare hands then staged the scene to look like they both committed suicide

Sharnelle's ex-boyfriend Xander Bylsma, 19, (pictured together) allegedly strangled them with his bare hands then staged the scene to look like they both committed suicide

Sharnelle's ex-boyfriend Xander Bylsma, 19, was charged with their murders, but still allowed to attend their memorial service on Friday.

The building's matron found the grade 11 girls' bodies and the teenager was arrested after forensics determined they were murdered.

Bylsma, who recently broke up with Sharnelle, confessed to police he strangled them with his bare hands then staged the scene, according to News24.

Further details of his statement would not be released until he faced court on August 6, police Captain Charlize van der Linden said.

The couple dated since March last year and posted numerous loved-up snaps on their social media profiles.

The schoolgirls who 'did everything together' also featured prominently on each others' Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Sharnelle was found hanging from a rope tied to a guardrail on the stairs and Marna on the bathroom floor with the strap of a backpack tied tightly around her neck

Sharnelle was found hanging from a rope tied to a guardrail on the

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