Family mourns botanists
AG has spoken to the family of British botanists Rodney and Rachel Saunders, who disappeared in South Africa in February and were later found murdered.
The couple ran Silverhill Seeds in Cape Town, and were known worldwide for finding new varieties of plants. Their work was highlighted in an article about diascias by Graham Rice in AG 2 June.
Described as ‘wonderful, kind and inspiring’ by their family, the couple’s greatniece, Maria Perry, said: “Rod and Rachel were loved by everyone. They were the older family members that everyone and looks up to.”
Maria spent time with the couple in 2016 to learn about running a business.
She said: “They were so inspiring. We climbed Table Mountain and Rod was ahead of me. At the top he gave me his hand, helped me up and we high-fived. I remember thinking, ‘I’m 19, he’s 72 and he got to the top before me!’”
Four people have been arrested in connection with the couple’s murder.
Rachel and Rodney Saunders lived and worked in South Africa