Good human being, skilled bodyguard

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The two thugs who killed the former deputy president's protector have robbed the country of an outstanding individual and a skilled bodyguard.

Captain Frans Ramashilo, a presidential police protection officer, was shot dead while he slept in his house in Soshanguve, Pretoria, last week.

I spoke to Ramashilo often. In fact, I approached him every time I was working on a story or needed a scoop, but he gave away very little about the people he worked with and for. The fact that we attended the same church strengthened our relationship even further. We met in 2006.

"I don't want journalists near me. If you need any information, we have a spokesman. Call him," he would say.

Ramashilo protected former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Nqcuka.

Police said that two men armed with handguns entered Ramashilo's home through a window and then made their way to his bedroom, where they shot him three times and fled. His wife, Lizzy, was not harmed.

Ramashilo's tragic death not only left the presidential protection unit in mourning, but also Masole a Tumelo and Bana ba Bana, award-winning gospel groups, of which he was chairman.

Johannes Ramathoka, producer of both choirs, said: "Ramashilo was part of the team of pioneers who plotted the growth and development of both Masole a Tumelo and Bana ba Kanana gospel groups.

"He never viewed himself as anything else but part of the material with which we can grow from strength to strength," Ramathoka said.

Ramashilo, who is survived by his wife and his three children, will be buried on October 4 at Gadikgale Cemetery in Limpopo.

The service, which will be held at his home, will start at 8am.