Career of 45 years lauded

Setlogelo Matsheka (80) has retired after 45 years as a social worker.

Setlogelo Matsheka (80) has retired after 45 years as a social worker.

The staff of the Batho Clinic in Bloemfontein bid a fond farewell to one of its longest-serving employees, Setlogelo Godfrey Matsheka (80).

The event was held on 6 July and has brought the curtain down on his career that spans over 45 years of serving as a social worker. Matsheka was praised by various speakers for epitomising a true agent of change in the community.

“Not many a time do we get to live with legends,” said Kgosi Marogoa.

“People who have set the trends, lived lives to the fullest in service of others, especially a community. One such a person is ntate Matsheka. The gentleman is an embodiment of humility personified, service brought to life and love for his people put to action.”

Setlogelo Botaki said the South African National Tuberculosis Association (Santa) Mangaung became what it is because of Matsheka’s contribution.

“Santa stands proudly to this day because of your dedication and commitment to what I think was a calling by default. No doubt that when you took the job in the late 1970s you may have taken it as a profession, however it turned out to be a calling for you and the many sector communities of Mangaung that benefited through your Santa activities,” said Botaki.

Thabang Selemela described Matsheka as a great statesman whose contribution to the community deserves to be written in bold, golden neon lights on top of its famous hill.

“In him you could see a man who exuded passion and believed in what he was doing, neatly dressed, with great care to how he addressed his audience. A true role model,” he said.

Matsheka was employed by Santa in Bloemfontein from 1978 to December 2021. Santa’s national office in Johannesburg recommended he took the position in the magisterial district of Bloemfontein. He oversaw all clinics in Bloemfontein, ensuring social assistance for TB and HIV patient programmes.

His involvement in community development included the following roles:

  • founder member of the Bloemfontein branch of the Black Social Workers Association (SABSWA);
  • vice-chairman and founder member of the Mangaung Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA);
  • executive committee member of the Mangaung Bantu Child Welfare Society;
  • executive founder member of the Pholoho Special School for severely mentally handicapped children;
  • member of the Bloemfontein Joint Council (forerunner of the Institute of Race Relations);
  • member of the St Patrick’s Anglican Church and former church warden; and
  • Rotarian and member of the Rotary Club of Bloemfontein Thabure.

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