A committed activist

Brendan Jansen

Brendan Jansen

Teboho Rhyder Mofokeng was brutally murdered on January 1.

While his death is a blow to his family, friends and comrades, his legacy as an honest and hard-working man will live on.

He was born on April 4 1964 at Harasebei in Edenburg.

Mofokeng attended Edenburg Public School until standard 6. He was an exceptionally brilliant student and a talented football player. His political activism started at Mampoi High School, spurred on by the socioeconomic conditions of the people of QwaQwa and the brutality of the apartheid education system.

Mofokeng led a student's boycott, which led to his suspension from Mampoi, while doing standard 9. He completed matric at Moemedi High School, in Bloemfontein, and was a member of the Congress of South African Students.

He enrolled for a teacher's diploma at Kagisanong College. He was a founding member of the South African National Students Congress. He was expelled from the college but later completed his diploma.

His first teaching job was at Botshabelo where he joined the National Education Union of South Africa, which fought for the transformation of the education system.

The Education Department tried in vain to frustrate his activism by transferring him to remote areas without paying his salary for months on end. He was never discouraged by that and instead set up underground ANC structures wherever he worked.

Mofokeng was involved in the formation of the Edenburg Youth Congress which elected him its first chairman in 1988.

Because of his activism, he was constantly harassed, imprisoned and tortured by the police. Several attempts were made on his life.

In 1994, Mofokeng became the first mayor of a non-racial municipality in Edenburg.

He was also elected the first mayor of the Xhariep District Municipality.

Mofokeng loved jazz. A die-hard supporter of Orlando Pirates, he was a prolific writer and had an exceptional talent for chess.

He is survived by his wife, Manthabeleng, three sons, a brother and two sisters.

He will be buried on Sunday.

The service starts at 8am at the Phaladi Phetlhu hall.