A Tribute to Dr Namane Makgau by Dr Reuel Khoza



Director of ceremonies, the Serote and Makgau families, in particular Sisi Namane’s children, (Dr) Maruping and Pule, friends and relatives of the bereaved family, distinguished mourners, ladies and gentlemen.  I treasure this opportunity to pay tribute to our beloved sister, a drum major for enlightenment, exemplary citizen, dedicated educator, director of companies and champion of sound governance as ethical leadership in practice, Dr Tiny Namane Makgau.


General Charles de Gaulle, former President of France, advises “One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day was; one cannot judge life until death.”  Well, now that Dr Makgau is no more, we deeply appreciate what a towering, luminous lamp pole she was; what a formidable exponent of women and children’s rights she was; and what a personification of quintessential affection she was.


Dr Namane Makgau and my paths were destined to cross several times.  I met Tiny in 1969 as a fellow student at Maripi High School in Mpumalanga.  As early as then she epitomised scholarly behaviour and displayed budding leadership behaviour as a prefect.  In fact she shared a dormitory with my wife, as their prefect.  We went on to be fellow students at the University of the North, where her diligence and scholarship continued to glow.  We then shared abode as a residents of Pimville Zone Four as good neighbours who delightfully took turns, taking our children to Sacred Heart College.  Most recently our lives were to intersect when she asked me to write a foreword to the book she co-authored with Lynn McGregor titled Governance and Leadership:  Building a Sustainable Culture of World-Class Leadership; following her career phase as a director of companies.


Dr Makgau lived her life abundantly.  She took to learning like a duck to water.  In imparting her knowledge she would have earned praise from Socrates as a character builder.  She loved essentially unconditionally.  She leaves a rich legacy that deserves to linger long.


Dr Makgau, Motho wa Batho, Montho wa Botho, Motho wa Setho, re Kgolofela go re badimo le Modimo ba tla go amogelo ka lethabo.


Art Buck comforts us as follows:


“Nature in her wily way,

Provides for our terminal care;

It’s quaintly called eternal rest,

And all of us get the same share.”


As people of faith we trust that death is not terminal; it is transitional.  Death is not a full stop, but an exclamation mark that catapults us to loftier heights; a golden passage to eternal life. Namane, you may recall one of the songs we sang as King’s Messengers Quartet at Maripi:


“There’s no disappointment in Heaven

No funeral train in the sky

No graves on the hillside of glory

For there we shall never more die

Immortal we’ll stand there in his likeness

The sun and the stars to outshine.” 


Dr Makgau, may your wonderful soul rest in peace, awaiting glorious resurrection.