Cape Town - Staff at the Department of Water and Sanitation were devastated at the news that policy director Marie Brisley was found dead while on holiday in Mossel Bay, spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said on Friday.
Ratau described Brisley as a ''very, very hard working and knowledgeable colleague''.
The alarm was raised when Brisley went for a walk on Wednesday and did not return.
Her concerned friends and colleagues put word out that she was missing, hoping for her safe return.
However, the bad news came on Thursday when her body was found.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Mossel Bay station commander Andre Fraser said the NSRI and the SA Police Service conducted an extensive search which was suspended at 03:00 on Thursday morning and resumed at first light.
The police's K-9 search and rescue team and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter also joined the search.
Her body was found on Thursday along the coast near Pinnacle Point.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Ratau said he had worked with Brisley and described her as "soft spoken and very intelligent". He said her death was a terrible loss for colleagues and the department.
"We would want to send strength in this difficult time to her family," he said.
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