Monk Nkomo

Monk Nkomo

His friends gave him the nickname of Jughead - after the weird character in Archie comics of the same name.

Just like the comic character, he had an intellect that was well above average and a sharp wit.

Fortunately the similarities between the two ended there and did not extend to the comic character's penchant for free meals and innate dislike of girls.

For his part, he was simply blessed with a good head for intellectual brilliance.

His big, darting eyes - set into a chubby face - had a peculiar naughty look about them, which kept those in his company guessing at all times.

This was Dr Victor Sesenyi Khabo, 63, popularly known as "Naughty", of Atteridgeville, Pretoria, a man who did not suffer fools lightly.

Always forthright and quick to express what he disliked, he would simply respond: "O mpotsa mabinchi" (you are telling me sh*t).

Khabo died in a head-on collision with a truck last Saturday morning while returning from the funeral of a friend's wife in Mothutlung, Brits.

He had earlier spent time with friends after the funeral.

Thus came an end to the life of a brilliant academic whose words were always pegs to hang ideas on.

A man with an insatiable appetite for knowledge, Khabo had a whopping eight university degrees to his credit, including doctorates in commerce and philosophy, master's degrees in business administration, arts and science.

He was a staunch member of the Pan Africanist Congress and news of his death on Saturday spread like wildfire in Pretoria's townships.

I was lucky to have known him since the early 1960s when he was a friend of my late brother Percy.

He was one of a group of Hofmeyr High School students who were arrested in a police swoop at the school in 1963 for their involvement in the activities of Poqo, the armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress.

He was jailed for three years. On his release he left for the US, where he studied and received four of his degrees.

"Naughty" was born in Atteridgeville on June 10 1945. He attended the local TP Mathabathe Primary School and later matriculated at Hofmeyr High.

He played tennis but spent most of his time listening to jazz.

An ordained lay preacher of the Methodist Church, he always loved to quote to me from the book of Joshua, where the Lord allays Joshua's fears by telling him, "I shall walk with you" when he took over from Moses to lead the children of Israel to the land of milk and honey.

A devout Christian he was, I believe the Almighty will also walk with him to His paradise of peace and everlasting life.

Khabo, who is survived by his wife, a sister and five children, will be buried at the Pretoria West Cemetery tomorrow.