Community mourns Duke Kent-Brown’s death

Duke Kent-Brown.

The Marina da Gama community this week mourned the death of Duke Kent-Brown.

Mr Kent-Brown, 74, went missing on Friday January 5 after he went for a paddle in his canoe.

The community rallied to support the family when he did not return home and as the search for Mr Kent-Brown stretched between Friday evening and resumed on the morning of Saturday January 6.

SAPS Muizenberg confirmed that his body was found in the lake by Sergeant Willem Visser and members of the SAPS Diving Unit on Saturday at 11.30am.

Captain Stephen Knapp of Muizenberg police station said local neighbourhood watches and volunteers had assisted in the search.

“The cause of his death has not as yet been determined,” he said.

According to posts on Facebook, Mr Kent-Brown had a pacemaker and suffered from seizures. After the discovery, Glendyr du Preez of Lakeside Community Watch posted the news on the community’s Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness that I have to report that the body of Duke Kent-Brown has been found. Our heartfelt condolences to his daughter Natasha Benson and the family.

“May you find strength and comfort during this difficult time,” she said.

Ms Du Preez expressed her gratitude to all the volunteers who helped in the search. “Thank you to SAPS, Lakeside Fire and Rescue, City of Cape Town Rescue crafts, police canine unit, NSRI from all surrounding areas, all the volunteers in the communities and the NHW groups who co-ordinated this search. To those who brought kettles, coffee, sandwiches etc, thank you. Thank you to those who helped in the search on the vlei itself,” she said.

“Let us keep the family in our prayers and respect their privacy at the moment. Thank you for all your concern.”

A member of the community, Samantha Rouse, set up a support system for the family in the form of a roster so that people could take the grieving family meals.

Although both daughters were approached for comment, at the time of going to press no response had yet been received from them.

However, both gave thanks on the community site.

Belinda-JaneKent-Brown wrote: “The kindness and compassion and outpouring of support for myself and my family during this awful time of my Dad’s passing has shown us just how special Marina really is.”

Natasha Benson wrote:

“Dear amazing community! Marina residents, Uitsig neighbourhood watch, neighbours, Lakeside, canoeists. Muizenberg folk, LCW, Deep Blue, search parties, NSRI, SAPS, friends: all those that provided food for the rescue teams, colleagues, parkrun… for moral support, rescue services, divers… Thank you everyone for trying so hard to find my dad,” she said.

“We all miss him very much and it still feels like a bad dream and not real.

“In memory of my dad I would like to encourage you all to eat pizza from Elaine’s (at Upper Crust) at least once, as this was his favourite… and eat lots of chocolate with a glass of chardonnay.”