WHEN soccer star Gift Leremi died in a car accident on September 3 2007 his wife shot to instant fame as the face of the national road safetycampaign Arrive Alive.
But away from the public eye Mamello Ralematha, who had two children with the former Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns star, has been keeping a dark secret until today.
Sowetan can reveal that Ralematha knocked a man dead with her car just months before her husband's death.
Records at the Protea magistrate's court show that Ralematha was driving at more than 100kmh on a 60kmh zone when she knocked Lehlohonolo Nkate dead on Koma Road in Soweto.
She was charged with culpable homicide and driving without a driver's licence.
The presiding magistrate, Daniel Thulare, found her guilty on both counts and sentenced her to six months imprisonment or a R1000 fine for driving without a licence.
He also fined her R15000 or six months in prison on the second charge. Of this amount, R10000 or four months was suspended for five years on condition that she:
l Erects a tombstone for Nkate before April 30 2007;
l Buy two oxen for Nkate's family;
l Supply a goat, 50kg of samp and 50kg of beans for the tombstone unveiling ceremony before April 30 2007; and
l Should not be convicted of culpable homicide, reckless or negligent driving during the period of the suspension.
Sowetan can reveal that Ralematha failed to adhere to the order and is in contempt of court.
"All she did was buy one cow and a tombstone.
"We have been struggling to contact her since she and her mother changed their contact details," said the dead man's brother, Kgoloane Nkate, of Matatiele in Eastern Cape.
When Sowetan contacted Ralematha yesterday she initially put the blame on "the investigating officer".
"The thing is the investigating officer was co-ordinating everything," she said.
She later changed her tune and said: "I thought I did everything. I will settle whatever they say is outstanding."
Leremi died when he crashed a borrowed BMW near Alberton, east of Johannesburg, in September 2007.
Arrive Alive spokesperson Sam Monareng failed to respond to Sowetan's questions as he had promised.