Hilton teacher dies in fall

2008-10-31 00:00

THE body of a Hilton College teacher was recovered from the bottom of a cliff on the school estate early yesterday morning.

It is not clear how Derek Veenstra (44), who coached cricket and rugby, died. He went missing on Thursday morning. Colleagues were joined in the search by a police unit led by Inspector Jack Haskins and the Mountain Club. Veenstra’s car was found at the head of the cliff, but the search was called off at 2 am. The search resumed at first light with the help of the SAPS Air Wing.

After Veenstra’s white cap was spotted from the air, said the official police report, Haskins was lowered to the area and continued the search on foot with his dog and college staff. “The body was found shortly thereafter.”

Veenstra joined Hilton College in 1998 as an English teacher. Headmaster David Lovatt said on the school’s website that he was “a most popular member of the common room and has endeared himself to many boys”.

Veenstra is survived by his wife Debbie and three daughters.

All matches between Hilton and Westville have been cancelled this weekend.

St Charles College has cancelled a cricket match against Northwood Boys’ High out of respect for its headboy, Samukele Khumalo. He died in a car crash last Sunday morning with three other people. The school will hold a memorial service for him this morning.

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