Johannis Jan van de Velde (JJ) – Culpable Homicide
Johannis Jan van de Velde (JJ), (47), a prominent Nottingham Road maize and potato farmer was killed at around 17:30 on Friday evening, the 19th of October 2018 when an alleged drunk driver crashed head-on into his vehicle in Howick. JJ was entrapped and in a critical condition when he was found, and sadly passed away in hospital later that night. JJ, his wife Samantha, and their three children were due to start a new life in Australia in less than three weeks. All five of their farms had been auctioned earlier that year and the family’s containers were already being shipped to Australia, where they had bought a farm.
We were devastated to hear of the death of this Nottingham Road farmer who was well known in the community as a dedicated and charitable man, and an inspiration to the whole community.
Samantha, his wife, had spoken to her husband shortly before the accident on Friday and was waiting for him to return home at around 5.30 p.m. She then asked her eldest son to go and see if his car had broken down somewhere. When his son was driving down Main Road, he came across the accident.
Van de Velde originally came from Holland in 1993 and settled in the Midlands, purchasing the farm “Zuivergoud” outside Nottingham Road in 2000.
Some of JJ’s most notable achievements include:
- Van de Velde was selected as the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) Young Farmer of the Year for 2005 and was renowned as an expert in maize and potato farming.
- He also served on the board of directors of the Potato Certification Service since 2013. Sanette Thiart, chief executive officer of the Potato Certification Service described him as an “outstanding farmer”. “He was such an example for every one of us. It is a huge tragedy for us to lose such a hardworking farmer,” she added.
- Sandy la Marque, Kwanalu chief executive officer, said: “He also showed an exceptional display of generosity when he donated 800 bales of hay to aid of his fellow farmers suffering from the crippling drought in the Hluhluwe area during 2016.”
A tragic case of culpable homicide, reckless and negligent driving and alleged driving under the influence of alcohol is currently being investigated.
“This is a textbook case that we are warned about all the time by authorities, parents and friends that deeply care about us. We are also very mindful of the suspect in this matter, his family and all those around him. We are doing all we can to assist in dealing with the anger, forgiveness and justice of this situation as three separate but all deeply connected and co-dependent elements to find a way forward for all involved.” – Brian Jones