The community of Zone 6 in Sebokeng, Gauteng, is in mourning this week following the death of Nomasonto "Sonto" Ntombela, 37.
"Sonto" touched many lives and her passing has left many grief-stricken and in shock.
The community, friends and colleagues have lost a talented young woman who was always ready to help those in need. Always a lady, Ntombela was a precious gift to her whole family.
She died on July 3 in a car accident on her way to attend the Grahamstown Arts Festival.
She was born on June 7 1970 on a small farm in Evaton, the first born of James and Esther Ntombela.
She started school in Evaton and matriculated at George Town High in Pietermaritzburg.
She obtained a diploma at Wits Technikon, majoring in information technology. She also held an MBA degree from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. Her first job in 1994 was with First National Bank. She also worked for MultiChoice and Telkom.
In 2002 Ntombela joined Discovery medical aid as a divisional manager, the position she held until her death.
Jacob Brand, her general manager, described Ntombela as the "Mother Theresa" of Discovery.
"She always treated people with respect and got involved with every possible charity," he said.
"She had a passion and love for the underprivileged and sacrificed many a weekend to deliver blankets or to run soup kitchens.
"At last year's Walk-the-Talk, we raised R10000 for one of our charities, the Coffee Bay school in the Transkei.
"She also collected school stationery, school bags and soccer balls, and when I went to Coffee Bay in December, she made sure that my trailer was overloaded. Many bags and all the balls were in the car," he said.
"Sonto was always encouraging people to find the brighter side of any bad situation. We all aspired to be like Sonto as a person.
"Her calm approach and willingness to listen to others made her a role model. But for me the key attribute of Sonto was her gratefulness," Brand said.
She was always overwhelmed when people appreciated her, Brand said, adding that they would ensure that her legacy lived on.
"Her place will always be empty, but her soul and inspiration, will be with us forever."
Ntombela is survived by her parents, a sister, three brothers, a nephew and her grandmother. She will be buried tomorrow at West Park Cemetery after a service at Rhema Church in Randburg which starts at 9am.