family, friends mourn slain cop

THE family and friends of slain GaRankuwa police officer Inspector Bachipile Andrew Rapeta, 49, yesterday held a memorial service for him at the GaRankuwa YMCA community hall.

Rapeta - popularly known as BA - allegedly went missing on the night of July 2 2009 on his way home from work.

Rapeta's partially decomposed body was found by a cattle herder in Zone 4, GaRankuwa on Sunday.

His family, friends and colleagues began his memorial by first laying wreaths at the spot where his body was found. None of his colleagues and family had the courage to speak but his immediate superior, Superintendent Baiki Modike, said he had lost a good cop and a friend.

"He was one of a kind. He left a mark in my life. He was a true policeman. I was proud to have worked with him. We will miss him because we loved him," Modike said.

MMC for community safety in Tshwane, Dikeledi Lehobye, did not have the strength to speak because her husband was also murdered violently.

Another speaker MP Angie Molebatsi said the world needs more cops like Rapeta.

"When you kill a person, you do not occupy their grave. Your's still awaits you.

"We lost a police officer who was good at what he did. He was liked by all who worked with him. We need more people like him," he said.

Rapeta will be buried at the Mabopane cemetery tomorrow after a funeral service starting at 6am at home, 61 Lebanon, Mabopane.

The cortège will leave for the Mabopane cemetery at 7.

Rapeta is survived by his wife Sarah, daughter Ofentse, 21, and son Thato, 25, who is training to be a nurse.

There have been no arrests so far in connection with Rapeta's death and police investigations are continuing.