Inquest docket opened after professor’s body found in river

2010-02-25 00:00

THE body of University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Steve de Gruchy has been found floating 700 m downstream from where he was last seen by his son.

Searchers started looking for De Gruchy on Sunday, after the police were alerted to his disappearance while he was tubing with his son David on the Mooi River in the Middelrus area.

They were about to enter the rapids when De Gruchy came off his tube, waved to his son that he was alright and disappeared.

For three days searchers were unable to locate his body.

The Pietermaritzburg search-and-rescue unit went back to the river yesterday and found his body floating in the water.

A source close to the search said De Gruchy’s legs were bruised. An inquest docket has been opened.

De Gruchy’s family described him as a man of many facets, with extraordinary energy and a love of life.

Family spokeswoman Bridget Krone said the professor “kept many balls in the air” and did so with great dedication and a lot of humour. “He juggled the big areas of his life: work, church and a rich family life with many other involvements, almost too many and too varied to mention.

“His spirit was always generous and he had a deep integrity. He was faithful in many private ways as well as resolute on issues dear to his heart.

“He was a big, strong person in every sense and his loss to us is monumental,” Krone said in a statement.

The memorial service for the head of the School of Religion and Theology on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus will be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Nativity in Langalibalele Street on Saturday at 3 pm.

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