Another FS sports legend dies

2018-04-18 06:01
Steve Lebeko, who passed away on Friday (13/04).

Steve Lebeko, who passed away on Friday (13/04).

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The sporting fraternity in the Free State suffered another blow following the death of yet another prominent legend, Steve Lekgetho Lebeko.

The loss of Lebeko (65) has struck a chord with those who were still mourning stalwart, Washington “Wachita” David Mokgadi.

The two legends died five days apart.

Mokgadi died on 7 April and Lebeko on Friday (13/04). Mokgadi was buried in Bloemfontein on Saturday (14/04) while Lebeko will be laid to rest on Saturday (21/04).

In sport, Lebeko’s life revolved mainly around football, the sport he was very passionate about. He was owner/coach of Black Terrors, one of the oldest clubs in Bloemfontein.

He served on the national appeal board of the South African Football Association (Safa) from 1998-2004.

During the period Lebeko was president of the federation in the Southern Free State which includes Bloemfontein. This was before Safa regions were realigned with government’s municipal demarcation.

“Lebeko was a selfless leader, who used hard earned money to develop and build the football team Black Terrors. He contributed immensely towards the development of Safa natio­nally. He served in one of the association’s sub-committees with zeal and aplomb,” said Teboho Valtuin, who served in Safa’s local structures in Bloemfontein.

Lebeko also served as Free State coach of development teams.

His role included laying a solid foundation for the development of women’s clubs and women referees in the region.

Lebeko was politically inclined and equally influential as he was in football. He worked for the Mangaung Metro Municipality.

Stan Molosioa, an associate, said Lebeko’s death has left a void not easy to fill.

“Bra Steve’s role in politics was in the form of socio-political activism. He had the ability to pull politics and social aspects together because he believed both were for the betterment of society.

“He was a brave defiance campaigner, advocated for justice and order. Steve was vocal against corruption and its practice by some individuals within the ANC in the province.

“Steve led critical campaigns such as the Regime Change in the province from 2011 to 2012, highlighting corruption and division,” he said.

According to Molosioa, the Regime Change resulted in the Free State ANC provincial executive committee barred from voting at the 2012 Mangaung Conference in Bloemfontein.

The event marked the centenary of the ruling party’s formation in Bloemfontein in 1912.

Molosioa revealed that Lebeko, an extrovert, was also instrumental in laying the foundation of the core members who formed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“However, Steve remained in the ANC because he loved the party and vowed to strive to correct wrongs from within, instead of leaving,” said Molosioa.

Lebeko’s sister, Matseliso Tlhatlhogi, said they will miss the man known for being loud and aggressive.

“My brother loved his family and his culture. He was a unifier in the family. He called a spade a spade. He stood for what he believed was right.

“He loved the ANC so much he would postpone important family matters when called to do duty for the party,” said Tlhatlhogi.

Lebeko’s memorial service will be held at Paradise Hall on Thursday (19/04) with his funeral on Saturday.

Proceedings will be at the Uniting Church in Bochabela, Mohlomi Street.

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