Remarks by Premier Thabang Makwetla at the Funeral of Former SAFA vice President Mr Reuben Mahlalela
10 January 2009
The Mahlalela family including the late Reuben Mahlalela’s wives and children
Honourable MEC’s and representatives of the
Representatives of the football fraternity, including the LOC, SAFA and local football and 2010 FIFA World Cup structures in the province
Ladies and gentlemen
We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to a son of
He will be mostly remembered for the selflessness he showed in representing this province at the highest level of soccer administration in this country. We will also never forget the crucial role that he played in ensuring that this province will take part in the South African, rather, in the African experience of the greatest soccer showpiece that the world has come to know and appreciate, the 2010 FIFA Soccer World CupTM for it is through his valiant efforts that we, in Mpumalanga, will get to watch some of the games.
Reuben will always be remembered as a hero for the manner in which he struggled for the soccer loving fraternity. His status as a hero is entrenched and no one can take it away. You don’t give a man the status of a hero. All you can do is recognize it. It is his. If we fail to dedicate ourselves to the ideals that Reuben strove for will be a betrayal of him and his legacy.
passion for intellectual freedom and independence was a defining
characteristic that was expressed both loudly and quietly at various
times in his life, but always present. His determination to learn
from others while not letting anyone do his thinking for him was and
is a profound attribute that we all can do with in our lives.
To the Mahlalela family, I know that nothing we can say can be enough to comfort you and ease the pain of your loss but let me share with you the words of the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, when he says:
“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.”
his departed soul rest in peace!