The intelligence community has lost a valuable soldier and an intellectual in Sipho Kholwa Mkwanazi.
Mkwanazi served his country with diligence from an early age until Sunday when he passed away.
Born in Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal on September 17 1970, he grew up in Duduza, near Nigel.
It was here that he cut his teeth in politics, taking part in the Congress of South African Students.
Mkwanazi became general secretary of the East Rand Student Congress after the banning of Cosas.
He also was a member of the Duduza Youth Congress and when the ANC assumed power in Pretoria in 1994, he joined Home Affairs in Pretoria.
Mkwanazi did a diploma in security and intelligence studies and advanced leadership and management at Unisa.
He joined the National Intelligence Agency and was based in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
Mkwanazi later became head of the provincial intelligence coordinating community in KwaZulu-Natal for two years.
His dynamism and hard work saw him being elevated to head of civilian intelligence community inside the NIA.
His colleagues in the NIA say they will remember him for his charm, insightful and intellectual engagement as well as his passion and service for his country.
Mkwanazi leaves his wife, Veli, and his boys.
He will be buried on Saturday after a service at Doxadeo Church in Pretoria East, Attenbury Road, opposite Woodhill College. The service starts at 8.30am and the cortege will leave for Pretoria cemetery at 11.30am.