Dirk du Toit dies

2009-06-02 07:21

Johannesburg - Former deputy agriculture minister Dirk du Toit died on Monday, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

He collapsed at his home at about 09:00. It is suspected he died of heart failure, said spokesperson Godfrey Moloi.

Du Toit, 65, was the deputy minister of agriculture and land affairs from 17 June 1999 to 10 May 2009, and was an ANC member of Parliament since 1994. He was a member of the ANC's national executive committee in North West Province.

"He was very strong on legislation programmes for agriculture and land affairs," said Moloi.

The recently retired Du Toit also helped to draft and finalise the country's Constitution in 1996.

Law career

Dirk Cornelius du Toit completed his degree in law in 1968, and became an advocate in the Supreme Court in 1970.

He was a professor of law at the University of Free State from 1975 until 1978, and a legal officer in the SA Defence Force in 1979/1980. From 1992 to 1994 Du Toit held the position of legal adviser for the trade union Nehawu.

His daughter Adelaida Bingham said the family was taking the news very hard as they were not expecting his "very sudden" death.

"He woke up this morning and my mother brought him a second cup of coffee and his head threw back. We don't know what it was. He tried getting up but couldn't. We think it's a stroke or a heart attack... the doctors will determine what went wrong," said Bingham.

Although she could not confirm the exact venue as yet, she said Du Toit's funeral would take place at 14:00 on Friday in Cape Town.