A 116-year-old South African man believed to be one of the world’s oldest people has died, his family said.
Born on 8 May 1904, Fredie Blom told Agence-France Presse this year that he had “lived this long because of God’s grace”. South African media have described Blom as “unofficially” the world’s oldest man.
Blom’s entire family was wiped out by the Spanish Flu pandemic when he was a teenager. But he survived and went on to raise the three children of his wife of 46 years, Jeanette, as his own, becoming grandfather to five over the years.
“Two weeks ago oupa (grandfather) was still chopping wood,” family spokesman Andre Naidoosaid, recalling the old man using a 4lb hammer. “He was a strong man, full of pride,” he added. But within three days, his family saw him shrink “from a big man to a small person”.