Condolences pour in for Vastech founder

Jacob Nthoiwa
By Jacob Nthoiwa
Johannesburg, 14 May 2010

President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday offered his condolences to the family of Vastech founder Frans Dreyer and the other families of the victims of the Afriqiyah Airways crash in Libya, in which 103 people died.

Speaking during the Presidency's budget vote in Parliament, Zuma took a moment to extend condolences to the families of those who died aboard the flight from Johannesburg, which crashed on landing, near Tripoli, Libya. "Our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones in this tragedy," he said.

According to Thomas Dreyer, who is the deceased's brother, Dreyer founded Vastech in October 1999, after he left Spescom DataVoice, which designs and develops proprietary solutions that record, manage, re-create and analyse voice and screen transactions.

In 2005/6, he saw Vastech's annual turnover rise to more than R30 million, after a slow start in 1999 when its turnover was a mere R570.

When it started operating, the company bought a discontinued product suite from Spescom DataVoice. Shortly afterwards, in 2002, it concluded its first major contract worth R2.4 million with an international client, and became an original equipment manufacturing supplier to Siemens, in Germany.

At that time, it also signed an international distributor agreement with Spescom DataVoice to resell products, bundled with its own, into call centres the world over, in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The company's head office is in Stellenbosch and it has a branch in Dubai. Vastech has 60 employees.

Dreyer, who was also the brother of South African MP and Democratic Alliance (DA) member Anchen Dreyer, leaves behind his wife, Estelle, and two daughters.

Further commiserations

DA leader Helen Zille also expressed her condolences on behalf of the party to the families and friends of the victims of the Tripoli air disaster. She said the DA is “deeply saddened” by the news that Dreyer lost his life in the crash.

Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele also expressed his condolences, and said government is doing everything possible to render all the necessary assistance to the aviation authorities investigating the circumstances of the accident.

The Department of International Relations has established an emergency call centre (on 012 351 1000) to assist family members with information.

The South African Embassy says it has started the initial identification of those who were killed. Where possible, it is using photographs forwarded by friends and relatives who contacted the department.

Yesterday, the families of the deceased were flown to Tripoli to do a visual identification and arrange for remains and belongings to be brought back home.