Ex-Bok captain mourns cousin

2008-10-07 00:00

Johannesburg — Former Springbok captain Corne Krige said yesterday that the death of his cousin, the woman from Zambia killed by a mystery virus, has rocked the family because it happened so quickly.

Cecilia van Deventer was airlifted from Zambia to the Morningside Medi Clinic in Sandton on September 12 and treated for tickbite fever and other potential infections, but died two days later.

Krige (33) told News24 he grew up with Van Deventer in Lusaka, where he was born and lived till the age of seven.

His parents still live in Zambia as do Van Deventer’s family.

She lived on a farm close to her sister and father.

He recalled Van Deventer’s great love for the outdoors. “She hated wearing shoes!” he said. “She was a person who loved being out in the fields and in the bush.

“It is such a tragedy that she was taken so early.”

In his 2005 autobiography, The Right Place at the Wrong Time, Krige recounted holidays in the bush with “Uncle Ouboet and Aunt Bennie and their daughters Magda and Cecilia who were the same age as my two older brothers”.

“We’d have great fires that lasted all night, and when you lay down to sleep, you could hear hippos, hyenas and other animals,” he wrote of the trips.

Van Deventer, also known as Silky, was a reservations manager for Wilderness Safaris in Lusaka.

Krige attended Van Deventer’s funeral last week in Lusaka. “Her father and her sister are still very saddened because it all happened so quickly,” he said.

“She was a healthy young woman and five days later she was dead.”

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