A much-loved “pillar of strength” in the local care community has died, passing peacefully in her sleep on Friday April 3. Mariette de Villiers, aged 64, served as the manager of external affairs at the Somerset West-based non-governmental organisation, Imibala. Mariette liaised with sponsors at home and abroad and co-ordinated a team of volunteers for the charitable organisation. Mariette worked at Imibala for over 20 years. The founder of Imibala, Gaynor Rupert, said of Mariette: “All of us at Imibala are deeply shocked and saddened by Mariette’s untimely death. She was with Imibala from the outset and helped countless children to a better life. Mariette was kind, caring and gentle. We will miss her greatly.” Details of a memorial service would be announced in due course, on the Imibala Trust Facebook page.