Scholar and activist dies at 96

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

Mohau Simon McDover Lekhela was born on October 10 1912 in Kimberley.

He trained as a teacher at the Perseverance Coloured Teacher Training School.

He married Sarah Mothapi in 1937. Their only son, Woodraw, died in 1993. His mother followed in 1995.

Lekhela moved to Pretoria in 1999 to live with Khotso and Belinda Moleko.

He was an active member of the Cape African Teachers Association and the ANC in his youth.

He attained a BA degree in 1941 at Unisa, a BA Honours and an MA in History in 1948.

He was the first principal of Tlokwe High in Potchefstroom and also taught at Malomess Secondary.

Lekhela went into voluntary exile in Ghana, moved to Nigeria and then to London, where he joined the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania.

He returned home in 1984 and took up a post at Unibo in Bophuthatswana. He retired in 1988.

He was awarded a professorship by the Potchefstroom University in 2000 and the chancellor's medal.

Lekhela published a book titled Owning the Land in 2000 about the real history of South Africa. His autobiography will be published soon.

He will be cremated tomorrow. A service will be held at Pretoria's Central Methodist Church at 10am.