The passing of South Africa’s ambassador to Eritrea, Roy Setlhapelo has been described as a great loss to the country. These are the sentiments shared by his family and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation where he was employed.
The 62 year old Setlhapelo died at a Pretoria hospital on Monday after a succumbing to a brain tumour.
The former MK cadre was once deployed to Cuba, Egypt, and Trinidad and Tobago. He went to school in Hungary and received military training in Russia, Angola and Zambia.
He was part of the 1976 detachment. Maxwell Ganya, as Setlhapelo was known as a cadre and struggle activist while in exile, has been described by his family as someone who loved his country.
Family speaker Thoko Phuti says:”I will remember him as an activist because he comes way from the June 1976 uprisings and he was very significant in that experience but also as someone who was very intelligent.”
Friends and families are continuing to visit the family’s home at Hartebeespoort Dam west Pretoria and the deceased’s birth home in Soweto pay comfort the bereaved family.
His son, Kgomotso says his father was passionate about education hence he encouraged them attain as much education as possible.
“My father was a very principled man, he stand by his principles. But he was a very carrying man. He loved both his sons; he was always part of us.”
Moloantoa Jakalase from Lesotho is the family’s domestic worker. He was busy cleaning the garden as mourners were entering and leaving the family’s Hartebeespoortdam home near Brits. He’s learnt a lot from the deceased ambassador.
“There are lot of things that he taught me. So I think everybody is going to miss him, especially the once who were close to him.”
“I worked for this family for more than seven years and he taught me many things, humanity and that money is not the value for everything.”
The deceased was appointed as South Africa’s ambassador to Eritrea in June last year, but he spent most of the time here at home due to ill health.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson, Clayson Monyela says they’re devastated by his death.
“We are all devastated, and his excellency ambassador Setlhapelo has served this country with distinction. We would likely firstly to convey our sincere heartfelt condolences to the ambassador’s family, his loved once and relatives, and to the whole country.”
The funeral service of the former MK cadre will be held in Moletsane, Soweto, on Saturday.
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