Pretoria - The Pretoria News this week honoured in retirement one of its longest-serving staff members, Moses Maluleka.
Maluleka started his Pretoria News journey as an inserter in the then works department in 1981, at a time when the newspaper was still printed at the Pretoria News building.
Aside from this, he would pack the printed papers in bundles of 25, to be distributed to news stands around the city.
On the side, he said he would be called up to the canteen to help with organising tea and coffee for the staff.
He noted that this job was one that he thoroughly enjoyed because it gave him the chance to meet and interact with staff in other departments than the production line on which he worked.
In 1994, there were big changes in ownership at the Pretoria News and Maluleka was retrenched.
He continued to do inserting for other publications, but said he never forgot his true home at the Pretoria News.
In 1999, Maluleka found his way back when he was offered a new position working in the canteen full time.
For the past 20 years, he has become known to all staff past and present as “Bra Moses”, and the sound of his trolley signalled tea time.
He recalls the days when he would ride in the lift and press a bell to notify all the office workers that it was “tea time”.
With fewer staff today, he would go to each person at their desk or in the conference room, offering tea or coffee with a giant smile on his face.
What astounds many was his prodigious memory. He knew exactly how everyone takes their tea, from the newest intern to the senior staff, and when past staff visited or he was serving a VIP such as Premier David Makhura, he found out how they too like their tea - black, white, Rooibos or Five Roses, with or without sugar.
Editor Val Boje noted during the farewell that of Bra Moses is more than the tea man: he willingly took on many other functions to help out, from being a messenger, to fixing things around the office, keeping the plants healthy, washing cars and donning an apron when there was a staff braai. But what everyone will miss most is the sense of order and routine he brought through his selfless acts of service to each and everyone.
At a function on Tuesday, staff gathered in the canteen to pay tribute to him in the presence of family members, and one and all celebrated this kind gentleman who always wears a smile.
While Maluleka said he is not quite sure yet what he will do in his retirement; he knows two things are for certain.
The first is that he will not sleep in past 4am - his regular waking time to be among the first at work - and the second is that he will never forget his Pretoria News family and all that he shared with them over many years.
“Thank God that I could work until now” he said.
As for his Pretoria News family his wish is: “God helps them in all that they do, they have been so friendly and so nice to me always”.