Farmer dies days before new job in Canada

The Free State farming community is saddened by the death of leader farmer Jacobus Stroebel. He died in a vehicle accident that also claimed the lives of his daughter and mother. Stroebel was due to start farming in Canada in January.

Jacobus Stroebel, the former vice president of Free State Agriculture, has died in a vehicle crash along with his daughter Marelize and mother, Miempie. Photos: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Jacobus Stroebel, the former vice president of Free State Agriculture, has died in a vehicle crash along with his daughter, Marelize, and mother, Miempie. Photos: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Free State Agriculture (FSA) mourns the death of Jacobus Stroebel, its former vice president who died in a vehicle crash on the N6 near Bloemfontein on Monday. He was travelling with his daughter, Marelize, and mother, Miempie, who also succumbed to their injuries.

“Jacobus will be remembered with compassion for his sharp sense of humour, principled decisions and absolute commitment to the agricultural sector and his family,” says Francois Wilken, the FSA president.

According to Wilken, Stroebel’s contribution to FSA is unmatched. Initially he started working as a legal advisor for the organisation in 2013. Four years later he started farming full-time in the Rouxville district and later became part of FSA’s management team.

The accident which claimed the lives of Free State farmer Jacobus Stroebel, his daughter, Marelize, and mother, Miempie. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

International job offer

In September this year Stroebel was elected as FSA vice president. However, just four months later when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to farm in Canada came his way, Stroebel resigned. He was due to relocate with his family in January 2022.

“His enthusiasm and the zeal with which he undertook a task, was also an outstanding feature. Despite the fact that he was still relatively young, he played a leading role in the management of FSA’s office, where his legacy will continue for a long time to come.”

Meanwhile, many members of the agricultural community expressed their shock following Stroebel’s death on social media. Alani Janeke, a Landbouweekblad journalist, says she hopes that Stroebel would be “a mayor in heaven”.

“Then you no longer have to negotiate with Cogta about municipal valuations and how municipalities should understand it for farms. You can have everything implemented right from the start,” she adds.

Stroebel’s death comes days after transport minister Fikile Mbalula warned of a big spike in road crashes, with multiple fatalities from the start of the festive season. He said, “One death on the road is one too many. We are concerned about the high number of major crashes where five or more people perish in a single incident.”

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