Botes believed in “One Namibia, One Nation”: Pohamba

WINDHOEK; Hundreds of learners, sponsors, friends and family attended the memorial service of sports consultant Quinton-Steele Botes here on Wednesday.

The special service was arranged by the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) in remembrance of the late Botes, who passed away on 24 June at the age of 54.

Botes was cremated on Tuesday morning during a private service held for close friends and family.

He died of multiple myeloma, a kind of bone marrow cancer, diagnosed in his body during September 2007. Botes received various medical treatments for cancer locally and in South Africa.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba said in a message read on his behalf by Botes’s oldest son, Ibarto, that Botes will be remembered for his valuable contribution as chairperson of Athletics Namibia and for his patriotic character.

The president described Botes as a respected personality in the sports fraternity, one who contributed immensely to the development of athletics in Namibia.

Pohamba said Botes brought values to many athletes through his coaching clinics across the country.

“Botes lived by the values of non-racism, and believed in one Namibia, one nation,” he said.

South African athletics coach, Hugo Badenhorst described Botes as a honest person with integrity and a man of many talents.

“He was a big personality with very humble principles,” said Badenhorst, adding that Botes’s dream was to put Namibian athletes in the international arena.

Long distance runner Sieglinde Gontes, who was coached by Botes, spoke highly of Botes and the role he played in her personal athletics development.

“I do not have words to speak, but I want to thank the strong man (how she called Botes) for training me,” said an emotional Gontes.

She called on all athletes and sports administrators to “pull the athletics wagon together”, so that the sports could continue.