Kudos for doing very good work

The University of Limpopo honoured former student representative council leaders and revered Black Consciousness Movement leader Abraham Ongopotse Tiro at its yearly benefit gala dinner and excellence awards.

The awards are given to former students who make substantial contributions to communities, society and the nation and are role models in education, health and science, agriculture, law, arts, culture and sports and business.

By October 2009 the University of Limpopo Student Trust Fund had helped to educate 310 students at a cost of about R100000 each or had allocated more than R2million to students.

The university resulted from the 2005 merger between the Medical University of Southern Africa (Medunsa) and University of the North (previously Turfloop).

At the function held at the Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, over the weekend, Gilbert Phalafala and Shirley Mabusela received the Ongopotse Tiro Excellence Awards.

Businessman Phalafala and community leader and former senior Independent Electoral Commission officer Mabusela, join previous recipients businessmen Eric Ratshikopa and Jabu Mabuza, North West Judge President Monica Leeuw, academic Teboho Moja and businesswomen Bridget Radebe and Anna Mokgokong.

The inaugural Chairperson's Awards were given to Sello Rasello, Mandla Seopela and Sarah Manthata.

The trust fund was initiated by the 1995-96 SRC 14 years ago. It supports rural students in academic fields, including management, health, agriculture, medicine and natural sciences.

Entertainment was provided by iconic African jazz player Selaelo Selota. Witty Limpopo Gambling Board chairperson Serobe Maja compered .

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo delivered the keynote address. He lamented the lack of new black faces in high-profile cases.

Tiro's legacy is also being kept alive through other trust fund events, including a golf day that was held at the Polokwane Golf Club in August and the Onkgo- potse Tiro Memorial Lecture, which was to have been held at the university's Mankweng campus in October, but was postponed.

The event had more sponsors this year. They included Sowetan and the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation, Coca-Cola, MTN Foundation, De Beers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Anglo American, Rand Water, Edu Loan, Cisco, Lohan, SA Institute of Chattered Accountants, Absa, Primedia and Beta Projects.

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