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Condolences pour in

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Els died was admitted following a brutal attack on him and his partner on his farm just outside the city.

A charge of murder will be added to the list of charges that three men are facing following the death of prominent local businessman Piet Els, who was brutally attacked on his farm near Kimberley. Picture: Facebook

MESSAGES of condolences streamed in for prominent Kimberley businessman, Piet Els, following his death yesterday morning.

Els died in Mediclinic Gariep after he was admitted on January 24 this year following a brutal attack on him and his partner on his farm just outside the city.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, commended Els for his contribution to the Diamond City.

“It is really very sad that Piet Els succumbed and departed this world after such a brutal attack on himself and his partner. It is thanks to him that today Kimberley has the R31 road, El Toro Park and Carters Glen, which were all part of the original Cater Ridge farm,” said Matsie.

“Els disliked, with a passion, the illegal dumping of rubbish and always took me around the city to point out those areas. He would always ask how visitors to the city would view us.

“He was also a proponent of the new traffic circles along the R31 road to reduce fatal accidents.

“Els contributed a lot towards the development of the city as a property investor. On a personal level, I will miss his humour and humility, his love for farming and mining.”

The ANC provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga, also expressed his condolences on behalf of the party.

“The African National Congress in the Northern Cape has learnt of the passing of one of Kimberley’s prominent businessmen. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Piet Els,” said Ngxanga.

“As the ANC in the Province, we call on the court to speedily conclude on this matter, ensuring that those who are guilty face the full might of the law.”

Messages also poured in on social media, expressing sympathy with his family and loved ones, especially his sons, Adre and Pieter Els.

“Our deepest sympathy goes to you in this time of loss this morning. You’ve lost a good father, a fighter and a role model. May God give you strength now more than ever now that your dad has passed on. We all are going to miss him dearly,” one message stated.

Somewhat of a legend in Kimberley, Els was a farmer, diamond dealer and property developer.

He made the news on several occasions, including when one of his farms, Droogfontein, was purchased for R43.9 million by the Department of Land Affairs as part of a land claim. This was one of the biggest land claims in the Province, measuring 12 057 hectares.

Following the land claim, Els continued to farm in the area, with 2 000 hectares and becoming the neighbour of the Droogfontein community.

It was on this farm, which was being farmed by his son, where nine rhino were poached.

Els was also rumoured to have donated large sums of money to the ANC in the past.

– Benida Phillips