Church and community were his life

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

Archbishop Thabo Metthews Mathekga lived his life for his church and community up until his very last day on earth.

Mathekga, 61, of Phomolong in Soweto, died last week after a long illness dating back to 2004.

He was born in 1947 in Denver, Johannesburg. He started school in Orlando East.

Mathekga went on to study theology at the Produw Bible College in Pretoria. In 1983, he led the Zion church in Potchefstroom in North West.

Two years after that he went to Lesotho where he preached for four years. His work also took him to Gaborone in Botswana.

On his return to South Africa in 1994, he became the Archbishop of Old Zion Apostolic Church in South Africa in Orlando West.

Mathekga travelled extensively in southern Africa and established churches in Botswana and Lesotho. Locally he set up churches in Pimville, Phiri and Mamelodi.

Bishop Edward Mofokeng, Mathekga's friend for 19 years, said he lived for the gospel.

"He loved preaching and was a man of peace. He would sacrifice anything for the advancement of the church," Mofokeng said.

Mathekga's grandson, Karabo Sidu, said: "Even when he was sick, my grandfather came to church because the gospel was everything to him."

Mathekga is survived by his sister Mary and five children - Thabo, Lebogang, Tshepo, Mpho and Musa.

He will be buried on Saturday at the Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia. The service, at the Walter Sisulu Hall in Orlando West, starts at 7am.