Petrus Mehlape dedicated his life to church service

Selby Makgotho

Selby Makgotho

The Reverend Petrus Mehlape of the Lutheran Church of Southern Africa in Polokwane died this week after a long illness. He was 62.

Mehlape spent the past 34 years in the ministry after being ordained in the 1970s.

He was a pastor for the Chebeng-Makweya Diocese in Moletjie, outside Polokwane.

The church this week described him as a loyal pastor who went out of his way to help the poor and the needy.

Kwena Mothapo, his relative, described Mehlape as a committed servant who put the church's interests ahead of his own.

Mehlape was born in GaSelepe, Moletjie, about 50km west of Polokwane.

As a teenager he took part in the activities of the church, including the Sunday school and youth activities.

After his ordination he worked for Thoto and Phokoane in Nebo.

He proceeded to the St Peters Church in Mahwelereng, Mokopane, where he served as parish pastor.

He also pursued his academic career and obtained an MA in Contextual Theology at the New York Theological Seminar.

He is survived by his wife, Maphuthi. The couple never had children.

He will be buried tomorrow at the GaSelepe Cemetery in Moletjie. The service will be held at his house in the village from 7.30am. The cortege will leave for the cemetery at 10am.