‘They were always together’

Ettienne Coetzee, Ethan Coetzee and Edmando Coetzee

The late chairman of FNB Reho Falcon Rugby Club, Ettienne Coetzee, and his sons Edmando and Ethan, who died in a car crash outside Rehoboth on 13 April, have been described as family-orientated.

“To me, it makes a lot of sense to know that Ettienne and his family were together in a car accident because they were always together. They believed that family is important and enjoyed spending time with each other. They were always there for each other, until the end,” says Ettienne’s mother, Cecilia Coetzee (68).

She says being united was key for the family, who would often visit her, just like they did shortly before the accident.

“On that day, they attended a funeral. Later they came to my house shortly before driving to Windhoek for the rugby event. On that day it felt a little different for me. I could not stop myself from wondering what was happening. It was just so beautiful for me to have them there at that time. I could not stop looking at them. They were all smiling, laughing, making jokes and giving hugs. Everyone was so happy and we were all talking. I never knew that time, it was some sort of way of saying goodbye,” she recalls.

Cecilia says before Ettienne and his family drove back to Rehoboth, they enjoyed a family dinner at a restaurant in Windhoek. Enjoying meals together as a family is something the family did often, she says.

According to Cecilia, she raised her sons and grandchildren to be obedient, hard working, caring and loving Christians.

“Growing up, my sons supported each other, even though they all had different goals. My children have always been very respectful towards me. Whenever the brothers were together, they will have fun and be peaceful. I don’t know of them fighting and arguing among each other. They were a great team together.

“My children always supported each other and carried these principles over to their children. I am so proud of them,” she says.

They may have grown up poor, but through hard work and determination, they were able to improve their lives, she says.

They believed in teamwork and supporting each other, she says further.

Johan Diergaardt from the Namibia Rugby Union says he met Ettienne about four years ago and not only admired his love for rugby, but also his support and care for his family.

He describes Ettienne as a man who would always make time for his family.

“That is a road that Ettienne and his family had travelled on many times before. I knew him as a man who would always want to be with his family. On that day, as a family, they were all together for the love of rugby. His sons were grown young men who could have preferred to drive with other transport but they preferred to be with their father in the same car.

“As a family, they supported each other with great passion. I hope other families will learn from them, because there are some fathers who would prefer to do other things instead. They will all be missed for what they did. Today, we are all inspired by what they did and we will miss them,” says Dier­gaardt.

The funeral service will take place on Saturday, 27 April at 09h00 at Dr Lemmer High School Sport field at Rehoboth.

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