GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - It is with sadness that the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Council was recently informed about the passing of Cllr Klaas Windvogel on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.
The late Cllr Windvogel was a Proportional Representative from Oudtshoorn at the GRDM Council since 2016 and passed on as having served Council till the age of 60. Also read the statement issued by Oudtshoorn Municipality on Thursday, 8 April 2021.
After his passing became public, various tributes and messages of comfort poured in from different groups, communities and individuals who were known to him, including the political and church communities, family and friends.
Many used social media platforms to share their fond memories of him, and his colleagues at GRDM shared tributes and condolences at a special prayer session hosted from the Municipality’s head-office in George on Thursday, 8 April 2021.
Cllr Windvogel is described as a servant of the people, who was also a member of the Community Services Portfolio Committee, one of the service delivery departments of GRDM.
Saddened and devastated by the loss of a great leader – “one of us,” ANC Chief Whip at the GRDM, Cllr Piet Van der Hoven, described the late councillor as a servant of the people.
Van der Hoven said: “We met almost 30 years ago, but even far beyond that, we both were involved in the struggle for democracy. He was a true cadre of his political party and served as regional chairperson of the South Cape region from 2015 to 2018”.
Van der Hoven further recalled how Cllr Windvogel was one of the most reliable and humble souls. He further said: “He was also a conceivable person, but extremely scarce in words, although extravagant in wisdom. He deliberated on issues in a well-thought through manner”.
Van der Hoven further emphasised that Cllr Windvogel added immeasurable value to the caucus and that he served his constitution to the best of his ability with distinction. “He will be remembered as a real and committed cadre. Our deepest condolences to his wife, children, family and loved “many(ies),” – instead of loved ones, because he was dearly loved by many”.
Speaker of the GRDM Council, Ald Barnie Groenewald, extended a special message of comfort to the family and said: ”Our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and the African National Congress (ANC) on the loss of a soft, loving person who was a true comrade and colleague. He will be sorely missed”.
Ald Virgill Gericke from the Plaaslike Besorgde Inwoners (PBI) shared the following words with the family: “Our deepest sympathy and condolences to his wife, children and broader family. Also heartfelt condolences to the ANC on the loss of a dear and committed cadre. May God comfort us all in this bereavement – Amen,” he said.
During the prayer session, GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald Memory Booysen, said: “Once again we are hit by a tragedy, hit by an incident that we are never getting used to. Cllr Windvogel was not a man of many words, but every time he engaged us, he was constructive. Things will never be the same, especially from a political perspective, as it is not the first time since 2016 that the ANC has lost a member,” Mayor Booysen added.
He concluded by saying: “Our prayers are with the family and with the caucus. We are all affected by the passing of Cllr Windvogel and we must hold hands under these difficult circumstances. He encouraged his colleagues at GRDM by saying: “words will never be enough, the pain will always be there, but fortunately if we work together we can comfort each other to a certain extent. We hope and pray that God will give us comfort and strength during these difficult times”.
After delivering a prayer at the session, GRDM Councillor, Cllr Ivan Mangaliso, also extended a heart-warming message with the family, friends and colleagues of the late Cllr Windvogel.
He said: “Today is a sad day, because we have lost a library, a wealth of knowledge and experience that could have impacted so many lives in the future to come. Our loss is difficult, because we saw and regarded Cllr Windvogel as a chairperson, a friend, comrade, as confidant – we have seen him as someone who we could depend on when we needed advice and guidance. We could communicate with him in very challenging times”.
To these words, he added: “I thank God that we had the opportunity to engage with him and that he had formed part of our lives”.
ICOSA’s GRDM Councillor, Cllr Wilbur Harris also shared a encouraging message with the family, stating that, “we want to encourage the family of our dear colleague, to have faith and trust in God that he departed to his eternal home with Jesus. What Cllr Windvogel did for the community of Oudtshoorn will not go unnoticed – rest in peace,” he said.
The prayer session was concluded by GRDM Portfolio Chairperson for Roads and Public Transport, Cllr Rowan Spies, who delivered a vote of thanks. During his speech, he also shared some of his memories of Cllr Windvogel.
To the Oudtshoorn community he said: “The capacity that ‘Oom Klaas’ brought to your community was outstanding and what he did for Oudtshoorn will never be forgotten. Also, what he did for the youth and to those who will continue in his footsteps from now onwards, is highly appreciated”.
To the Windvogel family Cllr Spies said: “Our appreciation to you is enormous. Cllr Windvogel’s footprints are deep and will last long and therefore we thank you for what he sacrificed for our communities. We wish you strength for the next few days, weeks and grieving months ahead,” he concluded.
Details of a memorial services which will be hosted by GRDM will be made available on various platforms in due course.
Rest in Peace Servant of the People, Cllr Klaas Windvogel.
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