Community of Wattville has lost a true son

Danny Magudulela

Danny Magudulela

Benoni businessman Monde "The Principal" Singeni was a people's person.

His death last Wednesday at OR Tambo Memorial Hospital after a short illness has robbed the whole community of a hard-working man who was always willing to listen and help those in need.

A bookworm, Singeni's love for debate and willingness to listen endeared him to many people.

Singeni, who was born in Wattville on September 4 1959, is the first of four sons of former Isaac Makau Primary school principal Lettie Singeni. He is the third brother to die.

An icon in the construction industry, Singeni started at the bottom, working his way up to prosperity.

Those who worked with him at Dunlop called him the "Politician" and his longtime business partner, Jabulani "Mapopo" Matlala, said he was amazed at the extraordinary manner in which Singeni "pursued" his goals.

"He used to go to libraries and sit for hours to do research on various topics and was always writing to newspapers about topical issues of the day," Matlala says.

"The way he spoke you would have mistaken him for a seasoned journalist."

Singeni attended Isaac Makau Primary School under the tutelage of his no-nonsense mother, MaSingeni, who was the principal. After that he went to Solomon Motlana Higher Primary in Wattville, until Standard 6.

At Ratlhagane High School in Pankop, Hammanskraal, he attained his Junior Certificate before enrolling at Etwatwa High School in Wattville where he completed matric.

He joined the workforce at Writech Technologies, where he was a quality controller for a decade.

His next job was at Dunlop, where he worked for five years before going into business. Construction was his choice.

His friend and cousin Aaron "Tswelopele" Tau says he was an intellectual giant who helped him build his business.

"He had insight into almost anything and that is why I was always with him," Tau says.

A keen soccer fan, Singeni was one of Dumisane Ndlovu's fiercest critics when he sold Benoni Premier United to a Swedish consortium.

He said it had taken Ndlovu "eight years to build an empire and when it was starting to bear fruit he threw it away".

Singeni is survived by his wife Ntsiki and two children. He will be buried tomorrow at Van Dyck Cemetery.

The service starts at 9am at the AME Church in Wattville.