Last goodbyes for van Wyk
22 March 2021 | Local News
As the coffin of the 54-year-old Gerhard van Wyk was lowered into the ground at the gravesite in Outjo in Thursday, sobs of raw emotion could be heard.
Van Wyk was described as a man who had made an enormous impact on his family, friends and farm workers’ lives.
Mourners from far and wide turned up to say their final goodbyes to Van Wyk, who was well-known in conservation circles, having worked in the industry for 30 years.
However, with the coronavirus restrictions only 50 people could attend the funeral.
Van Wyk was allegedly shot by the British billionaire, 51-year-old Harvey Boulter, on 27 February on his farm Kaross near Kamanjab.
It is alleged that Boulter insulted Van Wyk’s daughter-in-law during a braai at the farm, where he was the manager. This led to a scuffle during which a shot was fired that entered Boulter’s hand and Van Wyk’s stomach.
Van Wyk died en route to the hospital.
While some former farmworkers this newspaper spoke to described Van Wyk as a great man and always friendly, they did not want to say much about Boulter except that he never smiled and always wore a firearm.
Van Wyk’s family asked not to be interviewed or photographed out of respect for the family.
Speaking at the service, Reverend Lukas Coetzer said that 30 years ago Van Wyk started in the nature conservation industry and “judging by the amount of people that showed up for his funeral, it is clear that these relationships built over the years are still there”.
Van Wyk’s wife Anja wrote in her tribute; “Your love for me will never be found anywhere. You were taken away to early. My questions will always remain. I would thousand times over have taken your place than have this pain. You do not deserve it.”
Van Wyk’s son, Gerhard jnr and wife Liani wrote: “Dad’s humanity, your mark in life and legacy in life will never be overshadowed by these events”.
Coetzer reminded Van Wyk’s family that he had made an enormous impact on people’s lives and that what had happened should also make an impact in their life.
Van Wyk was stationed as game ranger at Namutoni in Etosha National Park and thereafter he worked at Epacha Game Lodge and then built up Kaross as an elite game farm.
Boulter bought Farm Kaross, of 9 600 hectares from Tammy and Uwe Hoth in 2012. The farm was previously known as Kavita Lion Lodge.
He later also bought a neighbouring farm from them called Pionier.
Boulter has been charged for murder and is expected to appear in the Outjo Magistrate Court on 23 April.