Sports DG passes away

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pretoria - The Department of Sport and Recreation has confirmed the death of its Director General, Vernie Petersen.

Peterson passed away on Sunday after a short illness at the age of 52. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Sport and Recreation Deputy Minister, Gert Oosthuizen said Petersen's absence will be felt in the department where he had made a significant impact on the running of the organisation and sport on a national level.

He said the late Petersen was well-respected in the sporting community and especially among national and provincial sports leaders, and his capable leadership and insight will be sorely missed by them.

"In Mr Petersen, we have not only lost a colleague; but we have also lost a friend; a seasoned administrator in the civil service, with a proud history of fighting for the liberation of our country; and a man with deep roots in the church," said the Deputy Minister, addressing an emergency departmental management meeting.

The department's Chief Operating Officer, Sumayya Khan, who has been acting as Director General during Petersen's illness, will continue to do so until a new Director General is appointed.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced during the course of the week.

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