Charles January, Managing Director of fertiliser company Profert Trading, has died after the Kenya Airways flight he was on crashed shortly after take-off from Douala in the Cameroon. January was one of seven South Africans and 114 people on board the doomed plane, which crashed in heavy rain just after midnight on Saturday 5 May.
Cape Town-born January is survived by his wife Estrelita and their children Chandre (10) and Conner (17 months). The family recently moved from the Cape to Potchefstroom to be closer to January’s place of work.
“We at Profert are overwhelmed and shocked by the untimely passing of our friend and colleague Charles D January. Charles was a devoted husband and father of two children, and a friend to be proud of. He was the managing director as well as a 30% shareholder of Profert Trading, and his business focus was the development of the African market, while at the same time pursuing his doctorate. He was a strategic thinker who was goal-orientated and driven by a selfless passion to elevate and develop agriculture in Africa using Nepad’s structure as a vehicle to reach this goal. Therefore Charles fearlessly believed that a public/private cooperation was the only solution to success. It is ironic that he lost his life while forging ahead with his passion,” said Abie van der Walt, chairperson of Profert.
“We pay homage to a devoted, energetic person who enjoyed every moment of his career and life. We send our condolences to his family, we mourn with them and there will always be a gap in our lives, which will not be easily filled,” said Van der Walt. – Gwenda van Zyl