WINDHOEK- Farming communities across the country are mourning the loss of much-loved, highly respected, renowned stud farmer and auctioneer Piet Coetzee who passed away in the early hours of Sunday after battling cancer.
Coetzee, founder of Namboer auctioneers and small stock stud farmer who many said contributed significantly to the development of agriculture sector in Namibia, died at the age of 56 and is survived by his wife Nicolene and three sons.
Veteran agricultural journalist, Deon Schlechter yesterday said he is not mourning the death of Coetzee but rather celebrating a life that had a positive impact on many people, a man (Coetzee) who always put his family, his country and farming first.
“I walked a long road with Coetzee. Since his days as a formidable rugby player. Then award-winning farmer and auctioneer and businessman. He lived respected and died regretted,” he said.
“I will release balloons into the sky after his funeral,” he added.
Commercial farmer, Piet Blaauw said the late Coetzee was the country leader and the backbone of the farming community who leaves a big legacy in the agricultural sector.
“May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Pijoo Nganate, the special advisor to the Omaheke governor said Namibia has lost a son, a “baanbreker”.
“We lost an extraordinary man who believed in challenging rough terrains, who travelled the road not to be travelled by those who are small in faith and who are faint-hearted,” he said.
“Piet Coetzee, I did not know you personally but followed you closely and I know talent, courage, and knowledge when I see it. Your heart was at the right place and I am happy you knew that sooner or later you were to part ways with what you started and put in place a succession plan, Go, well son of the soil,” he added.
He said former South African President late Nelson Mandela once said “when a man has done what was expected of him to do, for his country and the people, he must rest.”
“You have done your part,” he said.
For the past several years, the late Coetzee has been crowned the Namibian Small Stock Breeder of the Year. In his operation, the Piet Coetzee Farming business, they run six small stock and two beef cattle studs.
The small-stock component consists of a pure Kaokoveld Damara sheep stud, a red Damara stud, a Van Rooy stud, a Veldmaster stud, a Boer goat stud and a Kalahari Red goat stud – 1 200 breeding ewes in all.
The cattle component comprises a Charolais and a Charbray stud as well as an 80-strong commercial cattle herd.
Coetzee, his wife Ogies and their sons Zirk and Xico also own Namboer auction house. Together with his family, he has been farming on the 3 500ha farm Petrusberg, 170km south of Windhoek in the Rehoboth district, for 11 years.
Piet was also the breeder of a world champion Van Rooy ram and is renowned for his Boer goats, Damaras and Kalahari Red sheep. He and his wife run a ear-tag company which produces locally manufactured ear tags for all kinds of animals.