SA man laid to rest after Mali shooting

2015-08-26 21:06
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GALLERY: Mali hotel siege aftermath

Pictures of the aftermath of a deadly hotel siege in central Mali.

Pretoria - The South African man killed in Mali last month has been laid to rest.

Family, friends and colleagues bid Roelof Janse van Rensburg, also known as Jaco, 38, farewell at his funeral service held in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Van Rensburg was one of 12 people killed when gunmen launched an attack on a hotel during a United Nations peacekeeping mission. The hostage siege in central Mali ended after government troops there stormed the building.

Van Rensburg was a fire fighter and rescue technician.

Heartfelt messages were left in a booklet at the service, describing the impact Van Rensburg had had.

His wife, Carina, wrote that her heart was in pieces.

"For 14 years I was fortunate to have you in my life as our lives were filled with happiness and love for each other. I have no words to describe you. You were everything that was beautiful. A wonderful man, son, son-in-law, brother and friend," she wrote.

Carina further described her husband as a good listener who put her needs first. She said he encouraged her when she was negative.

"I have so many questions about why this happened. Why you were taken so quickly from us. We were supposed to grow old together, but God needed you and came to take you that day. I will abide by that because it is temporary, one day we will be together again," she wrote.

Daughter Bianca thanked her father for being the best dad, while her brother Eugene wrote that it was sad to think they would never see him again.

"I just want to say thank you for all the good times and the bad because it was the best time ever. Daddy will forever be in our hearts and thank you for being such a good father to all of us. I love you so much and will always. Rest in peace daddy," he wrote.

Van Rensburg's best friend, Hermanus Killian, described him as a person who was always helpful and who was willing to listen.

The service concluded with his former colleagues from the firefighting department carrying his casket and the family releasing doves.

Read more on:    mali

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