Deacon Nicholas Esterhuizen and Father Nikolaos Giamouridis of the Orthodox Church officiate at a memorial service for slain Ukrainian tourist and businessman Ivan Ivan. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - More than 100 people gathered at East Fort on Chapman’s Peak Drive on Sunday for a memorial service dedicated to Ivan Ivanov, the Russian businessman who was murdered on the trail last week. Deacon Michael Simos and Father Nikolaos Giamouridis led onlookers in prayer and laid a stone at the spot where Ivanov was murdered.

The ceremony was particularly important to Ivanov’s family in Latvia as they were unable to travel to the site themselves.

“It won’t return my daddy, but no more people will be killed by these people,” Taisa Ivanov, his 12-year-old daughter said in an open letter to service attendees. While the family could not attend the memorial in person, they wrote a letter to Hout Bay community members expressing their appreciation for the efforts made to nab Ivanov’s alleged killers.

The SAPS, with the help of security service providers and Hout Bay’s Community Crime Prevention, were able to arrest three suspects within a week of the murder.

If there was one thing that was clear from the service, it was that Ivanov had a true love for South Africa. Erick Naidoo, a South African colleague at the company Bureau Veritas, said Ivanov jumped at the opportunity to return to South Africa for the third time and stayed an extra day to hike.

According to Ivan’s wife, Tina, he wanted his ashes spread at the Cape of Good Hope, but the family is not ready to make the trip to South Africa.

In the letter that the family wrote, they expressed the hope that Ivanov’s passing would “reinforce the improvement of the security situation in South Africa and that necessary measures will be put in place to prevent further murders and crime in this beautiful country”. 

The Hout Bay community has taken Ivanov’s passing to heart. The gathering on Sunday included the first-responders to the incident, concerned community members and members of Cape Town’s Orthodox Centre. 

More than 100 people gathered at East Fort on Chapman’s Peak Drive on Sunday for a memorial service dedicated to Ivan Ivanov. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Quintas said since he took the position he has witnessed Hout Bay residents’ deep capacity to care during tragedies and come together to find solutions to localised problems. 

“We’ve mobilised as a community to see how governments and society can stand together and try to work on a solution to prevent these horrors from happening again.” 

Ivanov’s death has acted as a catalyst for leaders across the city to address violent crime. 

Andre van Schalkwyk, chairperson of Table Mountain Safety Action Group, said the Department of Tourism met the Table Mountain Watch committee yesterday to discuss sustainable solutions. 

The Ivanov family expected his body to be repatriated by the end of the week. They have urged people to sign petitions opposing of bail for the suspects. See Change.Org and search: Oppose bail for remaining suspects accused of murdering Ivan Ivanov.

A memorial service led by Father Nikolaos Giamouridis and Deacon Nicholas Esterhuizen of the Orthodox Church was attended by various members of the public, security companies, as well as friends and colleagues of slain Ukrainian tourist. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
The service was held at the East Fort in Hout Bay, where Ivanov was murdered. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

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Cape Argus