‘Binnelanders’ star Ben Kruger has died of complications related to Covid-19

Veteran actor and 'Binnelanders' star Ben Kruger has passed away.
Veteran actor and 'Binnelanders' star Ben Kruger has passed away.
Image: Facebook/Ben Kruger

Veteran actor Ben Kruger, popularly known for his role on Binnelanders, has died at the age of 64, kykNET publicist Suzaan Keyter confirmed to TshisaLIVE on Wednesday. 

The channel said Ben died on Wednesday morning due to complications related to Covid-19 in his home in Brooklyn, Pretoria.

Elsje Stark, one of the producers of Binnelanders, expressed the production’s heartbreak at the sudden loss.

“It’s with great sadness that the Binnelanders family heard about the sudden passing of Ben Kruger, a much loved member of our team of actors. Ben portrayed the role of Okkie Ferreira for nearly nine years in his own unique way and held a very special place in the hearts of his colleagues and loyal viewers. We will always remember him for his professionalism, dignity, humour, and without a doubt for his ability to make the best potjie! We’re going to miss you, Ben.” 

M-Net director for kykNET channels, Karen Meiring, also paid tribute to the veteran actor.

The production explained that due to Binnelanders episodes being recorded three months in advance, “Oom Okkie” will be in the show for the next few months. 

“We keep Ben Kruger’s family and the Binnelanders cast and crew in our thoughts while we process the shock of his passing. Ben was loved by all. This is a huge loss for our industry.”

Over the years fans also got to see Ben in action as Sakkie Bezuidenhoudt in the SABC2 drama series Zero Tolerance and as Neef Gert in 7de Laan. He also played the role of James Gregory in the movie Mandela and De Klerk, which released in 1997. 

Ben’s passion and love for filmmaking went all the way back to his days in the navy when  he worked in the TV training studios.