Back from the dead

By admin
07 May 2010

Neville Meintjies, the newspaper boss on 7de Laan, was taken aback when he bumped into former colleague Wesley Young in Hillside. They’d worked together in Cape Town years ago then lost contact – then Wesley reappeared as a respected financial reporter.

Many soapie fans were just as astonished to see the Egoli character Chris Edwards, who less than two months earlier had been shot dead in that soapie, back from the dead as reporter Wesley in 7de Laan.

Eckard Rabe, the actor behind the two characters, was the first of the Egoli cast to join another soap after the end of that series.

‘‘It feels as if I’ve just climbed from one boat to another while sailing in the same stream,’’ the 63-year-old says.

Like new his character, Eckard is divorced. In 2007 he and former Isidingo actress Jo da Silva parted after an 11-year marriage. Jo is also on 7de Laan now (she plays Gita McGregor) – so is it uncomfortable?

‘‘Just because we’re divorced doesn’t mean we’re enemies,’’ Eckard says. They live a stone’s throw from each other in Westdene, Johannesburg. ‘‘I’m proud to say we could rise above the divorce, sort out our differences, get over the past and go on with life. Jo and I are now very good friends.’’

Both are involved in the education and care of 12-year-old Caitlin, their only child.

Time has been kind to Eckard. He works at staying fit and often gets out on his mountain bike. One of his best memories is of a cycle tour through France in 2003.

He and his dogs walk around Westdene Dam in the afternoons – it’s his alone time, he says. Church attendance is important to him too. ‘‘It gives you hope, peace and answers. It makes you realise where you, a small person, fit into this great universe.’’

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