Colleagues of Rudi van de Venter (48) are still in shock over the news of the North-West University (NWU) lecturer’s death at the weekend on the Potchefstroom campus.“It’s always hard for the university’s and faculty management to lose a colleague but it’s made worse by the fact that it was a freak accident,” Louis Jacobs, NWU spokesman, tells YOU.The campus’ security systems indicate Rudi arrived on campus at 2am on Saturday morning. A security guard found his body shortly after 6am. He’d fallen into a trench that was dug on campus for renovations on campus.“The students are starting their exams soon but we can’t speculate as to the reasons why he was on campus at that time of the [morning] or what happened. The police autopsy will have to determine cause of death,” Louis says. “The circumstances are tough to accept. Rudi was a remarkable person. He was very smart and an excellent maths lecturer,” says Professor Lloyd Conley, dean of the education faculty were Rudi had been a lecturer.Louis confirms the faculty has made trauma counsellors available to the staff of the education faculty, Rudi’s students and family members.“The students start exams at the end of next week so our first priority was to ensure they’re okay,” Louis says.Some of Rudi’s colleagues have laid flowers at his office door. “He was a brilliant lecturer and a wonderful person,” one colleague said.“He touched many people’s lives. I’m incredibly proud to be able to say he was part of our faculty,” Lloyd says.