Johann Botha 'would've wanted to die with friend'

2017-06-08 17:02
Johann Botha. (Deon Raath, Rapport)

Johann Botha. (Deon Raath, Rapport)

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Johannesburg - Producer, television presenter and radio personality Johann Botha was at his happiest at the Zebra Inn restaurant before he and a friend were shot dead on Wednesday evening. 

Botha and one of his best friends, Swazi Werner, were killed at around 19:00 on Wednesday evening.  

"I don’t think he would have wanted to die with anyone else than Swazi," Botha’s personal assistant, Kate Vos told Netwerk24.  

Werner was the owner of Zebra Inn. 

"Johann was at his happiest at Zebra Inn. That's where he would want to die. "

On Thursday morning, the sudden death of Botha left Vos emotional. 

According to Vos, Botha used to play chess at Zebra Inn on Tuesday evenings. 

“Nobody knows what he did there last night [Wednesday].”

Captain Kay Makhubela said three men and a woman entered the take-away restaurant on Wednesday evening.

"The suspects bought something to drink and a while later they pointed their firearms [at] the two victims and shot them dead," Makhubela said.

Two firearms and an undisclosed amount of money were stolen.  The robbers fled the scene.

Botha was a producer of investigative and environmental television series, as well as an opera singer and radio personality. He was involved with kykNET’s Projek Aardwolf and was a former presenter of the popular environmental series 50/50.

Colleagues and music lovers described Botha's death as an "unbearable loss".

Former RSG announcer Cobus Bester paid tribute to Botha on his Facebook timeline.

"And in this time of storm and fire and loss, Johann Botha dies. Powerful dreamer, natural man, opera expert,” his Facebook post read. 

Bester told Netwerk24 that as a co-broadcaster, he was "always amazed at Johann's versatility, his giant, comprehensive musical knowledge - from opera to rock, blues and punk”.

“He could handle everything and gained respect from experts. And then you could send him to broadcast rugby or cricket as well.”

Bester also remembers the love Botha had for nature. 

"I spent a couple of evenings in the Kruger National Park with him on fish owl expedition of André Botha, of the Trust for Endangered Wildlife." 

Bester said they had wonderful conversations around a fire at the river banks of the Olifants River. 

“Johann was a well rounded person who sometimes, because of his enthusiasm, stepped on other’s toes, but there was nothing petty about him.”

Presenter and series producer of 50/50, Ntokozo Mbuli said she had learned a lot from Botha in the 12 years she worked with him.

"Johann was a thorough producer and an excellent presenter," Mbuli said. 

"He was a passionate journalist and had a great love for music, especially classical music."

Makhubela said the investigation was currently being led by the eyewitnesses' information.

Read more on:    johann botha  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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