Raymond Basil van Staden (Posthumous) (1961 - 2010)
The Order of Mendi for Bravery in
Profile of Raymond Basil van Staden
Mr Raymond Basil van Staden was born on 27 January 1961 in the Amazimtoti coastal town in KwaZulu-Natal, and passed away on 2 April 2010 at the age of 48. He studied various security fields, such as Security Management, Forensic Investigations and Criminal Justice as well as International Studies
A security industry specialist and risk adviser, Mr Raymond Van Staden, like everybody else, probably had no inkling that his life would be lost in an unusual manner, much less in an informal line of his very security duty. But, this was indeed how Van Staden lost his life on Good Friday, April 2010, in the service of others, after a breathtaking feat trying to rescue a drowning child.
At noon on that fateful day he was walking along the beach when he spotted a man in great difficulty trying to rescue his two children out of the whirlpool of water in an unguarded section of the beach near Ellcock Road, Warner Beach, Amanzimtoti near Durban.
The father managed to push the girl out to the beach, while the son, Christiaan de Klerk, a nine-year old, was still in the water. Both men struggled to save Christiaan and the rescue craft which later came was too small to take all of them on board. It took the child first, hoping to make a quick turn. By that time, the two men had drowned. The De Klerk family was on holiday in KwaZulu-Natal when the tragedy struck.
Mr van Staden had an immeasurable love for animals, and adopted several of them. He was a well-known personality in the security industry since 1980, servicing even big organisations such as Spoornet in various aspects of security. In the early 1990s, Mr van Staden opened a company providing forensic services, which was responsible for protecting figures such as Hansie Cronje, Steffi Graf and Anna Kournikova.
He died a hero’s death, and died as he lived trying to save a life of another human being. He receives this award in recognition of his selfless act and bravery. We are proud to honour Mr Raymond Basil van Staden with the Order of Mendi for Bravery in Bronze.