Don Makatile My cousin Thabo Desmont Mosokotso has died after a long battle with diabetes.
One of a slew of males who carried my mother's maiden name, Mosokotso, he had a special place in my heart and clearly those of many other people who have reacted with shock to the news of his death.
After high school at Mosupatsela Secondary in Kagiso, the West Rand township where he was born on April 4 1967, Mosokotso joined the South African Police Service.
A very soft-spoken fellow, he was stationed at the Soweto dog unit from 1991, and after a few years of dedicated service doctors advised that he be moved to a less physically demanding posting.
He was transferred to the Krugersdorp magistrate's court, where the normal day shift allowed for easier control of his medical condition.
On Sunday his adoring wife MaNthabiseng called in an ambulance after some complications. But the paramedics failed to stabilise him - his sugar levels had shot up alarmingly.
He was taken straight into the ICU at the Netcare Hospital in town, where he would finally lose the fight against the disease.
He leaves behind his wife and three children - Tshidiso, Nthabiseng and Thabiso.
His funeral service tomorrow is at the community hall in Lewisham (Kagiso 1), and the cortege will leave for the local cemetery at 11am.