Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
HUMBLE and hardworking Zacharia "Sakie" Matome of Marimba Ext in Vosloorus was one of Ekurhuleni's finest information technology brains.
His murder outside his sister's home last week shocked the community.
Born in Wattville on May 5 1951 Matome started his education at the Solomon Motlana Primary School before moving to the Etwatwa and Mabuya high schools in Daveyton, where he matriculated.
He was a passionate academic and sportsman, a factor that he inculcated in his children with the motto "sana manan incoporo sana", which is Latin for means, a healthy mind in a healthy body.
A softball player of note, he honed his skills at high school, where he played with Sowetan deputy sports editor Sello Rabothata and Sipho Khumalo.
He also pitched for local teams such as Wattville Hellions and Condors under the leadership of Joseph "Hlwi" Gumede. Matome was a marvel to watch on the baseball field.
He gained a Bachelor of Administration at the University of Limpopo (Turfloop) and taught at Nyathi Secondary in Daveyton .
He joined Sandvik Engineering as a junior technician in February 1979.
In 1982 he registered for a public relations course at Damelin. He also completed a marketing and sales diploma at Unisa in 1984.
He then did a programming course at Global College for Information Technology in Pretoria in 1994.
That was the beginning of his IT journey as he became a junior specialist in Sandvik's IT division. His sharp and analytical mind induced a high level of confidence and trust in colleagues.
His hardworking nature did not go unnoticed. He was promoted to supervisor, a position he held until his untimely death.
Paul Hubbard of Sandvik's IT, said: "Zack was a gentleman, controlled and quietly strong. He never imposed but was always willing to take the extra step.
"He earned the respect of everyone at work, be it colleagues, end users or management.
"He brought integrity and substance, wisdom and insight. He was dedicated, had endless patience and always saw the best in people in all situations.
"Zack was an asset, a solid foundation, which at any time anyone could call on. He had my utmost respect as a person and as a technician. An absolutely wonderful person."
A widow, Matome leaves behind four children and a grandson. The service will be held tomorrow at 10am at the Lutheran Church in Wattville. He will be buried at Wattville cemetery .