Former teacher was a great inspiration

Former Soweto principal Peter Kgalane Bernard Makinita has been described as an inspiration and an educational guru.

Makinita of 505 Phase 2, Diepkloof, Soweto, died on Sunday at the Johannesburg Hospital after losing a long battle with prostrate cancer.

Raymond Khala, head of the office of Gauteng's education MEC, said as a student at Madibane High Makinita had made a lasting impression on her.

"He inspired us to read a lot, so we started reading Shakespeare through the reading club he started at school," Khala said.

Makinita's daughter, Motlatsi, said her father was a bookworm who encouraged her to read and use the dictionary at the age of eight.

His niece, Matabane, said Makinita's death had left a void in the family, the education system and the Diepkloof community.

Colleague Joe Molefe described him as a generous person.

Makinita, 69, was born in Phalane village, North West, in 1939. He started school in Phalane and then went to Alexandra Roman Catholic High.

After matric at Bafokeng High he worked briefly as a filing clerk at the Brenthurst Clinic, then enrolled for a teacher's diploma at the Bethel Training College in 1965.

He taught at Madibane High from 1967 to 1977. He also taught at Pimville Primary and was the first principal of Altmont Technical High from 1994 until he retired in 1997.

Makinita graduated with a BA Honours from Vista University and BEd from Unisa.

His married Elizabeth Dikgole in 1966 and they had two daughters, Motlatsi and Nthateng, who survive him.

Makinita will be buried tomorrow at West Park Cemetery. The service starts at 8am at the Modisa O Botse Lutheran Church in Zone 4 Diepkloof.