Ardent softball and jazz lover Molala dies at 55

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Former Pretoria Cardinals Softball Club fielder and ardent jazz follower Aaron Albert "Le Roy" Molala, 55, who died earlier this week after a long illness, will be buried today.

Molala, of 103 Moroe Street, Atteridgeville, died on Monday afternoon at the Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville after surviving three strokes since February last year.

The man nicknamed after legendary American jazz pianist Le Roy Vinegar loved cracking jokes during games.

He was also known for encouraging his teammates to up their performances during both league and friendly matches.

At games, when not on the field playing, he was usually seen with a bat in his hand, either running away from someone on whom he had just unleashed a stinging joke or threatening those who made jokes about his performance on the field.

Molala started playing softball at Hofmeyr High School in Atteridgeville and was described by softball veterans in the Pretoria area as one of the reliable and fast left outfielders of his day.

He started playing for Pretoria Cardinals in the early 70s and continued until the early 80s.

The youngest of eight children, Molala started schooling at JJ de Jong Primary, then attended Walton James Higher Primary before enrolling at the highly respected Hofmeyr High School, all in Atteridgeville.

He worked for a number of companies - among them a bottle store, a bank and the KwaNdebele National Development Cooperation in Mpumalanga before he became self-employed, transporting schoolchildren.

He is survived by his wife Porkey, a son, a daughter and a granddaughter.

He will be buried at the Old Atteridgeville Cemetery today. The service starts at 7am in the Methodist Church in Seeiso Street, Atteridgeville.