Phalane was a workaholic and strategist

Makhudu Thema and Joseph Varghese

Makhudu Thema and Joseph Varghese

Matsobane Geelbooi Phalane was tall and hefty. He commanded respect among his students and colleagues.

Phalane will be remembered in many ways. He was simple and down-to-earth.

Cool in the face of problems, he was a careful strategist and always very methodical in his approach. Very generous and open-minded in his outlook, he was never jealous of others rising to fame and fortune.

He bore no malice against anyone, not even those who despised him. He was ready to help those in dire straits.

Always busy, Phalane was never relaxed as he tried to tackle more problems than he could handle.

In spite of all this, he attended to his prime passion, the upliftment of a community through education and sports, and he did this quite religiously.

At Harry Oppenheimer High School in Limpopo where he was the principal until his retirement in 2003, he used to be at work very early, and he took time to study every development on the school premises before the school started.

Phalane died on July 13 at Polokwane Medi Clinic. He will be buried tomorrow at Masodi Village (outside Mahwelereng). The service starts at 7am.