Highly revered Kruger Park stalwart has fallen
MBOMBELA - The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) former executive director, Dr Salomon Joubert, has passed away, leaving an irreplaceable gap in the hearts of loved ones and his former colleagues.
Affectionately known as “Doc Sollie”, Joubert passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday September 14, at the age of 81.
His daughter, Magdaleen Holliday, remembers her father for his passion for family, friends and the KNP.
“My father was extremely passionate about the Kruger. He devoted his working life to it and never stopped his support and love for his beloved park. He was able to spend eight weeks camping there earlier this year,” she said.
As tributes continue to pour in, Joubert’s great friend and former colleague, Joep Stevens, said, “Doc Sollie was the KNP’s greatest living stalwart and knew the park better than any other person alive.”
Joubert began his career as a section ranger for Klipkoppies, east of Letaba, in 1964. Two decades later, in 1984, his unbridled commitment, insight and service saw him rise to the position of Kruger’s executive director, a position he held until his retirement in 1994.
The great conservationist focused his multifaceted talents on scientific services and research. He was responsible for many of the policies and much of the planning implemented during his tenure as executive director.
Mourning his old friend, Stevens said, “His passing came as a massive shock to the many people who knew and loved him. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go to his beloved wife, Bets, daughter, Magdaleen, son, Dusty, and their families and loved ones during this time of emptiness and longing.”
Holliday said, “My father always remained true to his own fundamental life principle of ‘Whatever you do, it should be fair and honest’.
“I believe he will for evermore be conducting an aerial census on the Kruger’s rhinos and elephants from up on high,” she said.