Township bids goodbye to Tlhokes

MOHLAKENG township in Randfontein will tomorrow bid farewell to young socialite Letlhogonolo Tshimane Kgoleng.

So popular was the 27-year-old Tshimane, pictured, that most locals did not even know his proper family name. He was simply "Tlhokes".

At Standard Bank in Johannesburg where he worked in the recovery department, the sombre mood of colleagues was palpable at his memorial service on Wednesday.

A colleague who used to be a close friend at work told the service how it all started: "We were at a team-building session and everybody had gone to bed when this guy I had not met before said to me, 'we can't go to bed this early (about midnight). We must spend our money'."

Another recalled how when they relocated Kgoleng had approached him.

"I was alone and this guy comes to me and says, 'I'm so and so. Let's go socialise'."

Tlhokes died at Johannesburg Hospital on March 5 after being sedated since an accident three weeks ago.

He sustained serious injuries when he and a friend hit a concrete divider.

Clearly, the injuries were so severe that he eventually succumbed.

Tlhokes, the charming, fun-loving and friendly boy who grew up in Mohlakeng only to pull himself up by his boot straps to become highly respected and loved, leaves behind his father Kgaratlhe, mother Rebecca Smaku, brothers Thami, Happy and Thebe.

The mass for the dead will be celebrated at Our Lady of Africa's Catholic Church in Mohlakeng, beginning at 7am.

The cortege leaves for Greenhills Cemetery at 9am.