MamaThabe was a pillar of strength

Tumi Sebusi

Tumi Sebusi

Valerie Bankie Thabe, 68, the wife of late soccer boss, George Thabe, has passed away.

"Mama" Thabe died on Monday at the Johannesburg Hospital.

Thabe was born on June 23 1938 at Top Location in Vereeniging.

She started her primary education at Matsie Steyn and then finished schooling at Lekoa Shandu High School in Sharpeville.

After completing school, she enrolled at Vereeniging Hospital as a trainee nurse.

She started her own business to keep the home fires burning, becoming one of the Vaal's top businesswomen.

Born Valerie Mosie, she married George Thabe and they had two daughters, Motlalepule and Molehadi, and two sons, Moeketsi and Moahloli.

Moahloli Thabe said his mother had been suffering from hypertension and was taken to hospital after complaining of feeling ill.

He said said died on the way to the Johannesburg Hospital.

"The doctor certified her dead on arrival at casualty," said Moahloli.

Her children described her as a pillar of strength for her husband and supported him to success in both business and soccer.

"We will remember her as a sweet mother who raised us very well," Moahloli said.

Thabe is survived by her four children, nine grandchildren and by her sister and a brother.

She will be buried on Sunday at Vanderbijlpark Cemetery.

The service will be held at Saul Tsotetsi Sport Centre, Zone 14, Sebokeng. The service will start at 8am.