Andre Kotze was Springbok swimmer from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Province. He won the 100m freestyle at the South African swimming championships four years running - between 1979 and 1982.
Andre's family were from Rhodesia before they settled at Linkside in Port Elizabeth, where his father practiced as a doctor. His mother Margaret Kotze was a regular EPASA official timekeeper.
He attended Claredon Park Primary and Grey High school in Port Elizabeth, matriculating in 1976. He did his national service in the army between 1977 and 1979, and then studied geology at the university of Port Elizabeth.
Andre swam with coach Tom Connell at Grey, and belonged to the Port Elizabeth Amateur swimming club. He married local swimmer Janette Miller.
Andre and his family moved to George in the southern Cape after many years of working in the Transvaal and overseas.
From Peter Williams:ODE TO ANDREAndre belonged to all of us.I used to walk passed him after an icy swim - stretching like a cool cat on those loose, wobbly square paving blocks that used to make the noise that let us know Mr. Connell was near. And he’d say to me in front of the seniors… “hey pete, you’re gonna be a bok one day”.It was so warming and comforting. He was calm, smiling, and knowing. I believed him.How cool was Andre? Such an easy and cosy kind of guy. Easy guy to become my hero. Even his speed was easy and casual. Matter of fact.I used to watch those stairs at the wooden gate at the entrance. To see if he was coming. Always a smile. Always a wink. Sometimes there was a moustache and a smile. When I met Jonty years later it was like I had met him before. 70’s era Koolcats.The best was when I became “blackpete”. Okes used to make jokes at my colour tone come summer. Odd nicknames in those days. But when I heard “hey blackpete” I’d scan over the pool edge for that happy and gentle face. Made me feel good.Even better was when I was swimming. I mimicked him. Well, I tried. I used to pester Tom… “do I move like Andre, have I got his rhythm yet? Will I kick like him one day?” I wanted to be like him.I last saw Andre shortly before I started full-time coaching.He told me how proud he was of me. Said he knew I would be the best someday. He always knew things us others had to learn for ourselves. He did stuff without trying to prove a thing.I am glad I belonged to him.I love that guy.blackpete
A respected and well-loved local businessman, André Kotzé (59), collapsed and died on Saturday morning while participating in the weekly parkrun at the Garden Route Botanical Garden.
According to ER24 spokesperson, Annine Siddall, he was unresponsive when paramedics arrived, but they performed CPR on him for
30 minutes before he was declared dead on the scene.
Kotzé was a director of Badger Holdings and was based in George.
Family friend and colleague, Peter Grindlay, the MD of Oakhurst, says Kotzé was a devout Christian.
"André served all he came in contact with with absolute devotion.
"He exemplified the execution of servant leadership. Despite leading a very full and busy life, he always had time for everyone.
"He was a giant of a man, not only physically, but in his heart too. He lived a message of love.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Janette and sons, Kyle and Jarryd."
The funeral will take place at Hope Church in Knysna Road tomorrow (Friday 8 December) at 11:00.
Andre was a keen musician and guitarist
UPE Springboks of 1981 - Andre with fellow PEA swimmer and Springbok lifesaver Mark Edge.
Winner of the Carden Cup for the 100m freestyle at the South African swimming championships in 1979 Andre Kotze - with arch-rival Paul Blackbeard.
water - skiing at Redhouse with Kobus Scheepers
Andre and Janette at the wedding of Andrew Dean and Mandy Buchner at Knysna.