Doctor who truly cared
Mmatlou Frans Semenya was a revolutionary, a consummate cadre and a man who loved his people.
Semenya, 37, died in a car accident between Bethal and Ogies in Mpumalanga last week.
Born in Bloed River, Seshego, in Limpopo on February 17 1970, he became politically active at a very young age.
He was a bright child who excelled at Ernest Mmatlou Primary School in 1975. He completed his matric at Makgofe High School in Mpumalanga with a distinction in mathematics in 1989.
Growing up in poverty in Mpumalanga did not deter him from pursuing medicine at the University of Natal, where he qualified as a doctor in 1996.
Steve Biko's philosophy of community development had a profound effect on him while doing his community service at Tintswalo Hospital in 1997. He started working at Groothoek Hospital in 1998.
With a group of friends, he established a surgery in Kwaggafontein in 1999. He led the fight against HIV-Aids by promoting voluntary counselling and treatment. He was also a pillar of strength to the aged and infirm and often treated them free of charge.
In 2001, he joined the ANC's Mafu branch and concentrated on health-care and welfare initiatives.
Touched by the inequity between private and public health-care, he decided to work part-time at KwaMhlanga Hospital to alleviate the shortage of doctors at the hospital.
In August, Semenya established Nyathi Construction Projects, which employs jobless youths in the area.
Semenya is survived by his wife Bassie, children Leageng and Booka and brothers Makuka and Ntlele.
The man who was born in Limpopo and worked in Mpumalanga will be buried at Tshwane's Zandfontein Cemetery tomorrow.
The service starts at 7am at the Sinoville Methodist Church.