Dear friends and supporters,
I would like to apologize for the radio silence but as I am sure many of you have already heard of the news of the passing of our beloved father, hero and a true Legend.
Johannes Lodewikus Botha, was born on the 13 February 1953 to James Johannes Peter and Maria Susanna Botha. He was the second born son and brother to Adrian, Engela, James and Georgina.
He passed on the 12th April 2022 at Nelspruit Medi-Clinic surrounded by his family.
He was born and grew up in Rhodesia and travelled the country living in road works camps as his father helped to build the roads. So growing up there was never much of anything except love and tons of adventures to be had.
Once Dad was of school age he was sent to Somabula Primary Boarding School so that he could have some consistency. Here Dad made many memorable and lifelong friends from all walks of life.
He could regal us kids with stories from that time for hours and loved sharing them. The real adventures of a farm school and the family they became. One of his favourites was how whenever there
was a sports event, they would all and I mean all climb onto the back of an old bakkie and go and partake and how their sports teams went undefeated even for such a small institution. That was the life he
always said. There was of course one thing Dad always said he hated about Gweru and that was the “Guti” and the cold, Dad could never handle the cold and that’s why we always lived in a warm area.
From there he went to Northlea High in Bulawayo where he said he spent 2 years and 2 weeks, decided he was wasting his time and then left school to work at the Bulawayo Power Station. And so at the
age of 16 he became a working man. From there he had a few changes in his career path and even ended up in Botswana working on the mines at a stage.
A message from Edith Botha, Hannes’s first wife and mother of his 3 girls – In I met Hannes in 1973, we got engaged in 1974 and married in February 1975. Our first home was in Wankie. We then moved
down to the Lowveld for Hannes to work at the Triangle Sugar Mill. Hannes was in and out the Rhodesian Bush War, he would work 12 hour night shifts for 6 weeks and then 12 hour day shifts for 6 weeks.
It was hard but we made it work.
We had 2 daughter’s Linda and Caroline born in Triangle Hospital. We were happy there, but Hannes decided to move to South Africa. I then broke the news to Hannes that I was expecting our 3rd child.
Our 3rd daughter Christine was born in the Evander Hospital. Hannes was a Shift Worker, but still tried to spend as much time as possible with his girl’s Linda, Caroline and Christine.
From Secunda we then moved to Sezela on the South Coast. He loved Sezela as he could fish from the beach, dive for crayfish and octopus. Hannes entered the fishing competition’s that were held
by the Sezela Sugar Mill.
He supported me when I was playing in Bowling Competitions, he would also play with me at times he was able to. We then left Sezela and moved to Durban. Hannes started his Handyman Service.
In 1993 we as a family moved to Malelane. In 1997 our eldest daughter Linda and Johan got married. Our first Grandchild Frans David was born in 1999, he was Oupa’s little Dude. In 2003 our
second daughter Caroline
and Willem got married. Our Granddaughter Candice-Ann was born in 2007, our second Grandson Anthony Willem was born in 2011 and our third Grandson Juan Johannes was born in 2012.
The love of Hannes’s life was when he started the Zimbabwe Pensioners Support Fund. He felt it was his turn to give back to the Golden Oldies that had once supported the boys in the bush. It grew and he gave it
his all. He now leaves his daughter Linda and son in-law Johan to carry on with his legacy.
A message from Christine Botha – Dad, where do I begin? One of my earliest memories is us all going to the beach during the annual sardine run. Where all us girls & mom would help catch sardines.
Many times you would go diving for crayfish, octopus & mussels & spend hours at the beach fishing.
You loved the ocean with all your heart. As a family we would go & watch the banana boys (now Sharks) play rugby at Kingspark. After the game we would braai & play touch rugby on the out fields whilst
you’d drink your favourite beverage: A Beer. You were the first person to ever call them The Sharks & one of our last conversations was about the Sharks game against the Lions where they won 37-10. You loved
the Sharks & you loved your autographed Sharks jersey.
Your battle is now over, no more tears flowing down your cheek. No more pain, no more suffering you are no longer weak. I still do not understand why this had to happen to you but it brought us back together.
Although you will not be here to possibly walk me down the aisle one day, when that day comes I know you will be beside me. Over the last few weeks we shared laughter & tears on the day you closed your eyes
& I had to say goodbye. You were there when I was born & I was there when you said goodbye. You are now an Angel so spread your wings & soar.
An message from Caroline Botha Nel – Well my Dad was always my hero through good times and bad ones too. He was a character of note, like one of those Dennis the Mennis kids. Weirdly enough my
Dad used to call me Dennis the Mennis too, we had a truly special bond.
I remember many nights spent on the beach in Sezela, just the two of us. With a flask of coffee, all the fishing rods and our sleeping bags. Or him and me catching crayfish in the bay. I would give anything
just to have one of those nights with him again. He was my hero. I would give anything to have my 3 children remember times like that with him.
My Father did so much for everyone else and never anything foe himself. All I can wish is that he gets to do everything he ever dreamed of up in Heaven. You deserve it Dad. I will miss you every second of
every day. I love you more than words could ever say. Rest sweet Dad, see you on the other side.
All my love Caroline
A message from Willem Nel – To my father-in-law, Dad, hunting partner and rugby rivel. From the day I met you I knew this whole journey would be one of a kind. From the days that we watched the
rugby together sharks against the bulls it was never a dull moment. From going hunting and some “animals” shooting back we had great fun. You always made sure there was enough time to go do some
fishing as well and it was always fun being on the boat catching big bass and some farmers even raising eyebrows to us being on their farms without proper arrangement. You’ve always been a strong leader
a loving father a very good grandfather to us all. Of course life is not without mistakes but the good always outweighed the bad. You will be missed dearly I will take good care of your daughter and your
grandchildren until we meet again catch some bass up there you are free.
A message from Candice-Ann Nel – My Oupa was a very good man, he enjoyed helping people. Me and Oupa had many good times together fishing and feeding the wild animals at his home in Marloth.
Whenever I was with Oupa there was never a dull moment, Oupa loved telling stories of when he was younger and those stories never failed to get me laughing. I really wish I could have spent more time
with him creating our own funny stories. Although I am sad that Oupa is no longer here with me it makes me happy to know that his suffering has ended and he is in heaven and at peace.
A message from Juan Nel – Me and Oupa went fishing on Oupas’ boat where we caught Bass together. My Oupa also showed me how to do my own veggie garden. He bought me different seedlings like onions,
carrots, beetroot, butternut, green peppers and many other veggies. I was always excited when Oupa would come to Bulawayo to do the Old People that he helped. My Oupa was a great man and he was
the best Oupa. Oupa bought me my first fishing rod and also my first push bike which was yellow in colour. Oupa helped with Easter Eggs, his favourite being the marshmallow ones. He also showed me
how to play soccer. I loved Oupa, why did Oupa have to go? At last Oupa is out of his misery.
A message from Anthony Nel – My Oupa came to Zimbabwe for a visit and everyday I have been waiting for him to come home. I loved when we had him for dinner and he slept in my room and I slept in my
brothers room. He taught me how to fish, but he had to go.
A message from Johan Schultz – My best memory of oupa Hannes is: We went to zim when I was verry young. I cant remember too much of the trip but what I do remember as a memory that I will never
forget is the time my oupa went paragliding and the pilot asked him if i had ever been on a helicopter before. He said that I had not and the pilot replied that they have one seat open and I could go with
if I wanted to. As the toddler I was I couldn’t say no. It was the best experience of my life flying in that helicopter over the canyon that separates zim from Zambia. After the flight we went to the croc farm
and I got my chance to hold a croc for the first time. I will miss you oupa and you will forever be in my heart. Frans.
A message from Johan Schultz – Hannes Lodewikus Botha – Dad
I met Hannes in 1996 when I started dating his eldest daughter, Linda. He was very sceptical about her dating a policeman as they died young and drank too much. He tried everything to deter me, showing
off his beloved BISHOP (.22 rifle) with the night scope and silencer the shut up as he called it. He shot a round in the yard to demonstrate how silently he could be effective. I was obviously immune or too stupid
to heed the warning. Shortly after I found Dad in the driveway with his hands firmly under the car and I had on my running shoes and the gate was open when I decided to ask for his belling and his daughter’s
hand in marriage. He agreed and I wed into the Botha clan in November 1997.
Trying to think of things to say, and memories to share with all of you and pay respects to a man that did so much and taught me so much in the short 26 years I knew him. First thing that pops into my mind
is one of our last giggles together, He told me he had an idea with a look in his eye I have seen before, this was concerning, and my response was “are we going to get into trouble or be arrested” to which
he only laughed. He had this fierce need to escape from the hospital and had me get in backup for a “hot extraction”.
When my brother was on his death bed in Durban, Dad gave me his only form of transport to go say goodbye, leaving him stranded. He made a plan to get bye while I was in Durban. I will forever be indebted
to you for this. This was the nature of Hannes’s giving sprit.
Dad loved to give and help people; his mission was to save the less fortunate and fix the broken. The more broken, the more he was determined to fix and never gave up on fixing. That is why he started the
Zimbabwe Pensioner Support Fund. There was his mission, a multitude of his people in need. Dad did this for 19 years without missing one single delivery run to Zimbabwe. His last trip was in November 2020.
He did this trip alone with Frans, his oldest Grandson. I am sure some golden memories were made then.
Dad loved an adventure, if there was none to be had, he could come up with a plan to create one. I think every trip to Zimbabwe was an adventure for him, you never know what you will get on these trips,
we have spent days at the border and here I saw a Hannes of patience. As a person who can over plan things, I was amazed at how little planning went into the actual delivery part of these trips. This is what
made him tick, the unknown adventure.
Dad loved nature, hunting and fishing. Outdoors he was in his element. He had disliked crowded spaces and always ensured he live in a small town. As soon as a town got traffic lights he wanted to move.
I met them in Malelane before robots, when Malelane got traffic lights, he started building a house in Marloth Park, a place that would never have traffic lights and always have wild animals on his doorstep.
He was in his element here. Sitting on the stoep watching the game come and go.
I can write a book on memories and adventures, some things better not said or admitted to, there is no way one can relay 26 years of memories. All I can say is thank you Dad, you have taught me a lot,
you will be sorely missed by all that knew you.
A message from Linda Schultz – And so I guess now it is my turn Dad, I have no idea where to start? So many memories of growing up, going fishing with you at Sezela, working with you when you started your
business in Durban and playing your secretary. When the fund started and we were packing boxes for the pensioners and loading the Dyna till way past midnight.
All the family times and memories we made together when I was growing are the one thing that nobody can ever take away from me and those I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Once I got married you were always there for us to offer advice and lend an ear when we were unsure of things. I still remember how upset you were when we told you I was pregnant with Frans,
with Johan and Myself being so young and only being married a year. But with all the complications you were there and even ended up in collecting me from hospital to take me for my last scan when
Johan couldn’t and we finally discovered I was having a boy. It was just after this that I ended up in having my emergency C-section. The first time you were able to touch Frans I will never forget as he was
still in ICU and you touched his foot, he opened his one eye and gave you a look that had us all laughing. From there you always called him “The Dude”. And he was lucky to spend the first 6 years of
his life with you at will and leisure and be able to build some memories with you.
At stages things were really tough, especially when in 2007 you and mom decided to get divorced. I tried to be neutral and not pic sides.
Then in 2010 when we moved back to Malelane from Johannesburg you gave me the opportunity to start helping permanently with the fund. This was an honour for me as have the past 12 years of
working with and for you to help keep your dream going. Even though we only generally saw each other during work times and when we were on trips together it is time that I will cherish. And yes we did
have our fights but hey we were both Bothas’ and I really did inherit a lot of your traits ??. But at the end of the day peace was made and we carried on.
The fact that you have entrusted Johan and Myself with your Legacy and allowing us to keep your dream alive, well all we can say is Thank You and we will do everything in our power to not
let you and your memory down.
I am grateful that I was able to spend the last 3 weeks at your bedside seeing you daily and spending time with you. Being at your side when you took your last breath broke my heart but was a
privilege denied to many.
From the day I was born you were my Hero and you always will be. I hope you finally at peace, until we meet again.
All my Love Linda
|Kind Regards |
Linda Schultz Director – Fund Raising & Awareness for the Zimbabwe Pensioner Support Fund
Phone 013 7900934
Cell 079 608 2676
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642
The 3 most important pillars of our cause:
UNIQUENESS – being one of a kind and knowing that the ZPSF is driven by good will and very passionate members.
TRANSPARENCY – enforcing the rule that all members must be fully informed before taking part in this noble venture.
ACCOUNTABILITY – Having a traceable paper trail for every cent handled, and regular revues conducted.