"Oldest man in the world" dies at 116
A South African, believed to be the oldest man in the world, has died at the age of 116.
Fredie Blom's identity documents show that he was born in the Eastern Cape Province in May 1904, although this has never been verified by the Guinness Book of Records.
As a teenager, his whole family was devastated by the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. He then survived two world wars and apartheid.
In 2018, Mr Blom told the BBC that there was no particular secret to his longevity.
“There is only one thing, and that is the man above [God]. He has all the power. I have nothing. I can fall anytime, but He's got me, ”he said.
Mr. Blom spent most of his life as a laborer - first on a farm, then in the construction industry - and didn't retire until he was 80.
Although he quit drinking many years ago, he was a regular smoker.
However, a coronavirus-related blockade imposed by the South African government is said to have prevented him from buying tobacco to roll his own cigarettes on his 116th birthday.e birthday.
Mr Blom's family said he died of natural causes in Cape Town on Saturday.
"Two weeks ago, our grandfather was still chopping wood," family spokesman André Naidoo told AFP news agency. “He was a strong man, full of pride. "
But in a few days, Mr. Blom went "from a big man to a small person", he added.
Mr Naidoo said the family did not believe his death was linked to Covid-19.
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