Fish Hoek Tourism founder dies

Angela Botha

The founder and owner of Fish Hoek Tourism, Angela Botha (née Herbert), 70, died on Friday December 11 from complications after a short illness.

Her husband, Paul Botha, said she had developed edema – swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues – in her feet and legs a few weeks ago due to a lack of exercise during lockdown.

With the lifting of lockdown restrictions, Ms Botha had been too scared to go for her regular walks because of the increased presence of baboons in Kommetjie, he said.

Before lockdown they had often gone on long walks and hikes and had joined the gym in January, he said.

“Angela started swimming and we were both fit and healthy at the start of lockdown.”

His wife had had a lifelong interest in naturopathy and had tried to treat the edema herself before seeking medical advice when there had been no improvement, Mr Botha said.

However, she had suffered a bad reaction to prescribed medication, and had been admitted to False Bay Hospital where she had been treated for three weeks.

A week before she died she was transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital.

“She had several Covid-19 tests done while in hospital, which all came back negative,” Mr Botha said.

After completing her schooling at Star of the Sea in St James, Ms Botha studied clothes design in Durban and was involved in launching Puma sportswear ranges globally while living in the UK during the 1980s.

“She was justifiably proud of her involvement in this,” Mr Botha said.

She moved to Fish Hoek in the late 1990s and founded Fish Hoek Tourism and promoted “holistic holidays”.

She took over the running of the Celebrate Life Festival, promoting holistic living, from 2013 to 2015.

Mr Both said she had never been afraid to differ from popular opinion.

“She was a staunch supporter of her faith, the royal family, ending gender-based violence, promoting safety in tourism, natural medicine and family values,” he said.

“She considered herself one of the lucky ones for finding true love late in life, and while she is now at peace with her maker, this remarkable woman, with her bright and inquiring mind, quirky sense of humour and unconditional support will be sorely missed by me, her husband of 10 years, her children, Felicity and Berkeley Ford, and her wide range of family, friends and colleagues all around the world.”

Close friend, Mim Haggie, said news of Ms Botha’s death was “absolutely devastating”.

She said she had met Angela in Zimbabwe and the two had continued their friendship in Cape Town after they had both moved here at around the same time in the late 1990s.

At the time, Angela was a struggling single mother. However, Ms Haggie said, she had never complained and had always been positive about life.

“We often prayed together, and one day she said to me, ‘Mim, something wonderful is going to happen.’ And then she met Paul.”

Ms Haggie described Ms Botha as a “bag full of surprises”, a woman who loved to wear colour, had a radiant face, was very generous and had a great sense of humour.

“I would often invite her and the children over and despite her circumstances, she would never come empty handed. She would always bring a small gift. She was very generous,” Ms Haggie said.

She said Ms Botha had had a “huge personality” and had left a void in people’s lives. “She will be missed.”