SELEBI-PHIKWE: Mourners filled up Ikageleng hall on Saturday morning to bid farewell to the late Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) secretary general, Ernest Mantsi. Mantsi committed suicide on March 27 this year.
However, BRU Executive committee members were nowhere to be seen. Rugby clubs that worked with the deceased almost all the time were also in no show.
Apparently, Mantsi was always close to BDF Cheetahs but they also did not show up. Mantsi becomes the third member of BRU executive committee to pass on following the recent death of former additional member Kingsley Dobrowsky last month.
Former BRU treasurer, Vincent Mashaya died in April 2018. Mantsi, who was also a Ryders club player, is the third player to die from the same club in a space of three years.
Speaking during the service, Mantsi’s uncle, Jacob Mantsi confirmed that their son committed suicide. He said they were informed about his death by the police and the post-mortem that was done by the doctor corroborated the report. The deceased’s father, James Mantsi said he expected a lot from his son.
“I named him Toto because when he was born, I liked reading books on Bishop Toto. Ernest was an intelligent boy and I expected him to go far in life,” said the emotional father.
The 36-year-old was praised for being a firm leader who took his role seriously. He was given the role of being the
Ryders chairperson, Simon Kanaimba said Ernest was a stubborn individual who did not accept things without asking questions.
“He was my friend and we did everything together. He was my best man at my wedding. I have lost a brother and rugby has lost one of the most committed administrators,” he said.
According to information reaching Sport Monitor, the deceased was retrenched from Botho University in 2016. After that he started a supplies company which did not do well and towards the end of last year he decided to go back home.
“When he came to Phikwe, he was unemployed but he had to take care of children. The only thing that kept him busy was rugby. He was my close friend and we spoke about many things. He opened up to me about his life and told me that he has been struggling with depression for quite some time. It got worse after he was retrenched and his family was aware of his condition,” a friend said on condition of anonymity. Sport Monitor tried to interview the family after the burial but they turned down the request. The deceased leaves behind two children.