Campus host Memorial Lecture
Thursday the 8th April 2010 marked the second of the celebratory lectures for the 30th anniversary, in the form of a memorial lecture for Professor Ernest Pelaelo Lekhela. The lecture was graced by Professors, dignitaries, family, friends, former students, students and the community members from near and far. The lecture commenced on time with the procession of dignitaries and a word of wisdom from Pastor Tlhabanyane .
The memorial lecture was held to honor and celebrate the life of one of the legendary figures of our times, Professor Lekhela, who contributed immensely to the establishment of this campus through the Lekhela Commission.
Prof Mphahlele traveled all the way from Polokwane to salute this great teacher. He described Proof Lekhela as a great thinker and lucid writer. He was a former teacher, principal and inspector before becoming a lecture at the University of the North. He studied with UNISA, and by candle light collected the following degrees: BA, B.ED, M.ED AND D.ED which shows discipline and dedication. He and Dr Billy Manvate composed the atonal anthem of Bophuthatswana. Professor Lekhela was a down to earth man of the people who never lost his common touch.
He was a sports man mostly in soccer, rugby and boxing. In the late 60’s he was politically enigmatic to his employers in Turfloop because back then, it was foolhardy for any black man to publicly display his politics. Professor Lekhela contributions to the community substantiate the fact that it is possible to excel in everything and that the only limits to ones success is the limit set by you. After his retirement from Turfloop in 1973 he labored at Hebron and was employed at “UNIBO”. He also ventured into business, running a dry –cleaners shop. His wife passed away in 1997 and he followed in 1998 at the ripe age of 85. He is survived by 3 children and grandchildren.
Professor Lekhela has left behind incredibly footprints in the sands of the whole country, from Kimberly to Turfloop. He has schools locally and in Kimberly named after him and a street in unit 10 Mmabatho. His son, Mr Tshepo Lekhela, describe his father as a modest and gentle man, always concerned with the education of his children. He thanked the University for honoring his father. “It was stimulating to share space with academics and intellectuals who‘ve managed to succeed against all odds and have made great contributions towards the development of our country. We can only hope that the youth today look up to this great leaders” he added.
Published by Koos Degenaar op 21 Junie 2010.