Freak accident means family to hold funeral instead of wedding

A prospective bridegroom, who would have married next Saturday, was killed in a freak accident involving his own gun.

Seymore Coetsee (34) manager of the luxury game farm Swala Lodge, about 30km west of Bela-Bela, was shot on Friday while he was moving a washing machine in the home he and his fiancée would have occupied after their marriage, Beeld reported today.

An emotional Bryn Thomas, the owner of Swala Lodge, said the gun had been lying on top of the washing machine. It fell on the floor and went off, as the safety clip was not on.

The bullet hit Coetsee in the stomach and exited through his back, before it hit the roof.

His fiancée, Sam Sampson (34) was standing a few steps behind him when the shot went off.

After the accident, Coetsee was still alive, but he died in the ambulance en route to Pretoria.

Coetsee’s sister, Annemie, who is married to Sampson’s brother, Marius, arrived from Britain on Sunday to attend the wedding, still unaware of the tragedy.

Trudie Laubscher of Klerksdorp, Coetsee’s aunt, said the family was devastated.

“It is terrible to have to inform joyous relatives at the airport that they’re going to be attending a funeral instead of a wedding,” a tearful Laubscher said.

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