There is no evidence of foul play in the death of 29-year-old Willem Kruger, a private prosecution probe has found.
In November last year, Willem Kruger, a farmer from Grobersdal, Limpopo, disappeared from a bachelor’s party.
His body was later recovered from inside his bakkie, which was found submerged in the Vaal River.
All kinds of speculation about the cause of Willem Kruger’s death began doing the rounds.
In February this year Willem Kruger’s father, Tian Kruger, approached the AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit for help to investigate the circumstances surrounding his son’s death.
This week on Wednesday the Private Prosecution Unit met with the Kruger family in Pretoria and informed them that they had not found any evidence of foul play.
The Private Prosecution Unit said: “After a careful study of the circumstances surrounding the death of Willem Kruger”, it, “believes that on the available evidence, allegations of foul play are unsupported.”
“After a careful study of the circumstances surrounding the death of Willem Kruger, AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit believes that on the available evidence, allegations of foul play are unsupported,” the unit said.
Willem Kruger disappeared on 13 November 2022 after attending a bachelor party at a lodge near Morgenzon, Mpumalanga.
Nine days later, his body was found inside his bakkie in the Vaal River.
The Private Prosecution Unit said it, “expresses its deepest condolences with the family, who has had to endure more than five months of anguish and secondary trauma which has been fuelled by wild speculation about the cause of Willem’s untimely passing.
“From the outset, the unit made it clear that it would not be led by reports and media speculation and rely solely on the objective facts and corroborated evidence.
“In a difficult and sometimes emotional meeting with the Kruger family, Advocate Gerrie Nel set out in detail the various findings, which included analysis of the data from the sport watch Willem was wearing; the GPS data from his vehicle tracker; cell phone tower data; post-mortem findings; and affidavits from several people in the area on the night.
“On instruction of the family, the unit will now focus on the private investigators that abused the trauma and desperation of a family to enrich themselves.
“Having said that, the unit must compliment Warrant Officer David Nhlapo who has done a sterling job and who has cooperated with the unit.
“His detective work, assisted by the unit, has driven the process and edged a painful investigation towards a conclusion.”
The Private Prosecution Unit said there were, however, a few outstanding aspects of procedural nature that need to be included in the docket, as well as loose ends that will finalise the matter, and be ready to be submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority.
Commenting on the matter, the deceased’s father Tian Kruger said: “As a family, we remain concerned that the facts established from the available evidence suggested that Willem behaved in a manner which is uncharacteristic of him.
“We feel comfortable that the investigation will continue even after an inquest.”