WORDS of praise have been showered on Limpopo taxi driver Thomas Manganyi for burying his father, who left 32 years ago and only returned this week as a corpse.

John Manganyi, 83, left in 1977 to seek work in the urban areas.

This was after being told that someone had found a job for him. He never returned nor did he write to his family.

But last week police from Mafikeng in North West came to the family hom eat Roadhouse in Malamulele and informed them of Manganyi's death.

His son Thomas went to Mafikeng to identify his father's body.

He later brought the corpse to the mortuary in Malamulele in a coffin and funeral arrangements are being made to bury the old man this weekend.

At a prayer service at the family home this week, religious leaders praised Thomas for his good work.

"He did not ask questions when told that his father had died.

"He went to identify the body and is making funeral arrangements.

"That is what a strong man must do," said Chippa Chauke of the Full Gospel Church. He said Thomas would get his reward from God.

Thomas said he was only 15 years old when his father left in 1977.

"We did not have a proper upbringing because we were brought up by my mother, Mphephu Manganyi, who was unemployed.

"But when we took up a burial scheme we included our father.

"We convinced the scheme to register him though we did not have his ID numbers," Thomas said.

He said though his father never looked after him and his siblings, he was grateful to the old man.

"It is because of him that I am on earth," said Thomas, who is married with three children.

Neither his wife nor the children knew the old man.