Masoek was hard-working, trustworthy comrade

Bongiwe Khumalo

The ANC and the Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works is mourning the death of a loyal and hard-working comrade, Bafeletsi Derek Masoek.

Masoek died at the age of 44 on January 13 after a short illness. He was the son of the late Lazarus Masoek, one of the longest-serving teachers at Orlando High School, and Ntombizodwa Masoek.

Masoek started his education at Zithathele Lower Primary School and proceeded to Law Palmer Higher Primary, both in Orlando East, Soweto.

He passed his matric at Orlando High and went to study at Wits University, where he graduated with a BA law degree in 1987.

In 1989 he obtained an honours degree in political science.

While he was at Wits, Masoek was involved in student politics. He was a founder-member of the Black Students Society and was elected an executive member of the organisation.

He also served in the national executive committee of the South African Students Congress.

After the unbanning of political organisations he was elected a member of the national executive committee of the ANC Youth League. He was also a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

After completing his studies he was appointed a major in the South African National Defence Force. He later headed the counter-espionage division of the Secret Service.

He held this position until he joined the Department of Home Affairs as director of security and ethical conduct.

He also worked for the Johannesburg metro police department as the director of operations.

At the time of his death he was chief executive of transport trading entities at the Gauteng Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works.

His colleagues have described him as generous and trustworthy, characteristics they said had influenced his political outlook.

He is survived by his three children - Nonkululeko, Mongezi and Tokelo - his mother Ntombizodwa, two brothers and five sisters.

Masoek will be buried at Westpark Cemetery in Emmarentia, Johannesburg, tomorrow.

The funeral service will be held at the Orlando Communal Hall in Orlando East at 9am.