Grillfather SA restaurant boss dies
Cape Town - Owner of the popular Grillfather SA restaurant chain, Shane Swiegelaar, passed away suddenly at his Westridge, Mitchells Plain, home on Saturday morning.
Swiegelaar, 46, was found dead in his bathroom after what his wife suspects was a heart attack.
The Swiegelaars own three Grillfather branches: in Mitchells Plain, Kuils River and Woodstock.
Tina, whose 45th birthday is today, says she woke up to hear his phone alarm ringing around 7am.
"I got up to see where he was because his alarm continued ringing and usually he would put it off," she said.
"I thought he purposely let it ring so I could get up and make him breakfast as usual. I thought he was being funny and teasing me because its my birthday, what a birthday surprise to have found him gone."
Tina says her husband of 13 years was on chronic medication for a heart problem.
The larger than life Shane had heart complaints and health issues causing him to be on chronic medication for this.
"He didn't complain of anything last night and around 3am I got cold and turned to him to cuddle, that was the last time I saw him alive."
Swiegelaar opened his first Grillfather in his garage at his home in 2017 and within months, moved to a premises in Westridge Centre where he fired up the grills to serve Mitchells Plain with his famous juicy grilled burgers.
Before he started his restaurant business, he previously worked in the clubbing scene in Cape Town.
The Grillfather is home of the famous Tsek Burger and the Yoh Burger.
Known for his bubbly personality and hospitality, Swiegelaar leaves a huge legacy in the Cape Town food industry.
General Manager Naeem Hussain, 33, said: "We are lost, our leader passed and we can't come to terms with it right now but, we will get by.
"We will continue his legacy forever, we will carry on, no stopping because that's what he would want.
"If I don't continue his legacy, he would be highly upset. I promise to give everything he taught me, to his business."
His childhood friend of 49 years, Jonathan Meter, said he will be sorely missed.
"We've been together for basically all our lives and have been through a lot together, never been angry at each other and up till now, still spent most of our time together. I will miss him."
His only sibling, Muhibah Salie, 38, said: "He was my only brother. He told my daughter this week that he misses her and wants to see her soon.
"He's always checking in on us. I'll miss him terribly."
Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects at his Westridge home.