ZUBENATHI JIZANA

The manager of the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra (UPSO), Philippa Kotzé, was found dead in her swimming pool after having drowned on 23 December.

Kotzé’s body was only found on 27 December, on her 48th birthday, at her home in Clydesdale, Pretoria. Her sister, Jane de Kock, told Beeld that the pool had a built-in bench and believes that Kotzé had been tired and hot after returning from a busy trip to Cape Town and that she must have sat in her pool to relax when she fell asleep and drowned. According to De Kock, Kotzé suffered from sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder that results in one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breathing while sleeping.

The autopsy report states that Kotzé drowned and that there were no other injuries found on her body. Kotzé started working as the orchestra manager at UP in 2003 and has since produced and managed a number of notable productions. Professor Antony Melck, UP’s Executive Director, said that Kotzé’s death came as a great shock to the UP community as she was at the prime of her life and an asset to the university. Kotzé was responsible for many events such as the principal’s concert and reportedly showed remarkable excellence in her management of the orchestra and the large number of students it involved.

A memorial service was held for Kotzé on 2 January at the Musaion.

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