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Missing man found dead in river

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The Philipstown High School principal’s body was discovered in the river after his family had reported him missing.

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education has conveyed its condolences to the family of Philipstown High School principal Peter Aubrey Kroutz, whose body was discovered in a river near Upington on New Year’s Day.

Kroutz was visiting family in Stasiekamp, Upington for the festive season when the incident occurred.

Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said officials from the department had visited the bereaved family.

“Some of the staff from the department in Upington, accompanied by the cluster manager from ZF Mgcawu District, went to visit the family on Saturday, January 4. We were informed that the funeral will take place on January 11 in Upington,” said Van der Merwe.

Police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock said that Kroutz’s body was discovered in the river after his family had reported him missing.

“It was reported that the deceased went missing on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 from his nephew’s house in Stasiekamp in Upington. During the investigation, the Search and Rescue unit was informed about the incident and they immediately started the search. The body of a man was discovered in the river and it was positively identified as that of the missing person. An inquest case was opened to investigate the cause of death,” said Kock.

Family and friends of Kroutz shared their shock and grief about his death on social media.

Trantaal Ingrid remembered Kroutz’s days as a teacher. “It sounds untrue. Mr Kroutz, the only one of his kind, a rock, highly intelligent, handled the most challenging situations with grace, word intellect like a dictionary, fearless the list is endless. Will always remember all that is good. Gone but you will always be in my heart. Deepest sympathy with his wife, kidz, grandkidz, family and friends. Philipstown High’s loss is undescribable,” she said.

Others described Kroutz as always being friendly. “This teacher always had a smile on his face. RIP Mr Kroutz,” wrote Hermanus Jafta.

“My dearest colleague, may his soul rest in peace,” Gaynore Rudeneshia Poggenpol wrote.

Others stated that the year had started on a painful note. “This is how you start 2020??? Lord have mercy Condolences to the Kroutz family,” Estralita Geduld wrote.