Former Botswana president Sir Ketumile Masire has been hailed as a man who believed in the principles of democracy and respected the constitution and the rule of law.
Botswana was used by freedom fighters in the region as a passage and refuge, while fleeing political unrest in their own countries.
A memorial service was held in Gaborone, to honour Masire, who has been described as a disciplinarian, agriculturalist, educationalist and a family man.
A fitting ceremony in honour of a man who touched many lives and he was praised for his dedication and patriotism.
Botswana former president Festus Mogae says: “My tribute is that we have lost a great leader. I hope all of us Batswana will follow his illustrious example in being humble, being a leader who’s humble and consultative.”
Masire’s family regarded him as an excellent role model.
Masire’s son Mmetla Masire says: “He supported us in all respects of our lives and one thing that I have learned from him is you need to respect people but not fear them, and that is a value that I taken throughout my career.”
But he continued to play a huge role at his alma matter Tiger Kloof, in Vryburg, South Africa.
“He shared with them that the missionaries who established Tiger Kloof never expected it’s students to fail. There was simply one benchmark excellence and so students simply reached higher and tried harder to be the best that they could be.”
Masire will be buried at his home village of Kanye on Thursday.
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– By Tsholofelo Mathibedi