Tributes for South African architect who died by assisted suicide

Johannesburg - Tributes poured in on Wednesday for Johann Beukes, an architect from Bloemfontein who took his own life in Switzerland with the help of Swiss organisation Dignitas.

He decided to end his life at the age of 66 after suffering from a rare and painful condition for decades.

The SA Institute of Architects offered its condolences to his wife, Monique, his three children Johard, Leandi and Izanne, and three grandchildren.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the institute described Beukes as a well-known architect, businessman and travel agent.

It said he suffered from "a rare, severely painful condition where cartilage in joints disintegrates at an unpredictable tempo. Since his childhood Beukes underwent more than 30 operations. At age 31 he already had bilateral hip replacements".

The condition caused "relentless pain".

Messages of condolences were also posted on Beukes's Facebook page.

"Dear Uncle Johann Beukes, there are no words to describe what an amazing person you were. You have been an incredible boss and true friend to my precious mom Christa Conlon for so many years.

“You have taught her so much which has filtered through to me," wrote Tatum Conlon Kruger.

Another Facebook friend, Michelle Kruger, posted: "Johan, you will be missed, but I know there where you are now, there's no more pain or suffering. You will always be a legend."