Pretoria - He was generous, and made it his mission to educate the poor, a family man who not only cared for his own children but that of his siblings and in-laws.
He was also an ardent golfer and had a good taste for life, including travel and philanthropy.
This was how advocate Tiego Moseneke was described during his funeral on Wednesday at the Akasia Community Hall.
His elder brother, former Deputy Chief Justice advocate Dikgang Moseneke, said Tiego loved the ANC, and his wish was that the party should “renew itself”.
South Africa’s Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, told mourners how he, Tiego, and other ANC-aligned members spent two years in the Johannesburg Prison (Sun City) under detention without trial.
His comments that their incarceration “was the good times of their lives” shocked mourners, but he explained: “When we were in jail, Tiego – Tigs as we called him – kept us busy with his jokes. We no longer felt the pain of incarceration,” he said.
To illustrate Mashatile’s sentiments, the Moseneke family broadcast some of Tiego’s public addresses in which he had people in stitches about how his in-laws “saved him” from paying huge amounts of money for lobola.
In one of the clips, Tiego talks about how beautiful his wife is. He is captured saying: ‘’Yes, you may compare her to Winnie Mandela, but my wife is beautiful.”
These are the love stories which Tiego’s family promised the mourners would be captured in a book to be released shortly. The family also asked those who were close to him to contribute articles.
Tiego died in a car crash last week, and his funeral attracted people from all walks of life.
His wife, Koketso Moseneke, said their house was for the poor, for petrol attendants, cashiers, the academics, and the politicians of note, including former president Kgalema Motlanthe.
“I could not sit on the mattress to mourn the loss of my husband. People from all walks of life visited our home after hearing about our loss. They include our Super Special Dignitaries. These were our friends, petrol attendants, security guards, tellers and patrollers. “They all deported grief out of us. How do I sit in the bedroom? she asked.
Koketso described her husband as the “epitome of love and laughter”.
She reminisced about how she met the love of her life 32 years ago, saying he would keep her in stitches and she always enjoyed his company.
“I was so comfortable with him, and this was after returning from one of the parties with him. It was 32 years ago. I told him: ‘I am going to marry you’. His reply was: ‘I’m not the marrying type’.
“A few years later, we got married. We’ve been married for 30 years now,” Koketso told the mourners.
She also amused the mourners when she told them they had forgotten their 30th wedding on January 7 this year, saying they went out to a party with friends.
“It was only later at night that I told him it was our wedding anniversary. How was it possible that we could forget it, and his reply was: ‘It is because we live love’, to which the mourners laughed in clear approval of a life well lived,” Koketso said.
She spoke extensively about Tiego and his friends’ joint efforts to ensure university students had access to funding.
She also revealed how they had managed to build two additional classes at a primary school in Atteridgeville with limited funds, and bemoaned how government departments spend huge amounts of money to build a single classroom.
Koketso’s younger sister, Dr Lerato Maiphetlho, also spoke fondly of Tiego – the man who had taken over the role of father to her then 3-year-old daughter after her biological father died in 1997.
Maiphetlho recounted how Tiego also played a role of a brother after the death of their own father.
“He assumed the role of the father to us,” she remembered.
Addressing her sister, Maiphetlho said: “Thank you for bringing such a giant to us. He spent 32 years teaching us how to treat you. He taught us to balance loving and caring for you. He wanted us to allow your humility to shine. With his death, we experienced the worst pain in our lives.”
Dikgang, in his eulogy to Tiego, urged the ANC to behave like rulers and change the living conditions of South Africa, saying it was his late brother’s wish.
He said they grew up in a family which was “hardwired” to fight against injustices.