Heroic Bishop Setlalekgosi Laid To Rest

Bishop Setlalekgosi laid to rest. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Bishop Setlalekgosi laid to rest. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Multitudes of people thronged the National Stadium on Friday for the funeral service of Bishop Boniface Setlalekgosi. Amongst the mourners were former vice president Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

Apostolic Nuncio Peter Bryan Wells and bishops from Southern African countries. All speakers showered the late bishop with praises for his dedication to God and improving livelihoods.

Speaking on behalf of priests, Father Sylvester Kaemana described Setlalekgosi as a hero who has to be imitated by all the priests. 

“He loved God so much, he loved his vocation as a pastor and he served God. He has left us a challenge that we can emulate him.  He was a man with great passion for pastoral work. Even towards the latter years of his life, he continued to serve God with distinction.  He was always there when there were activities. We have to keep this legacy alive as priests by serving with the same level of dedication. To all of us he was a true father,” he said.

Kaemana said they always had an opportunity to visit him and interact with him asking for wisdom.

He described the late bishop as a gentle simple man of God who was a workaholic stating he would continue to be their inspiration. In his message of condolences, President Mokgweetsi Masisi, said Bishop Setlalekgosi dedicated his life to serve God with diligence, distinction and obedience.

“It was a recognition of his selfless service to the nation that he was honoured with presidential honour of meritorious service by the founding father of this nation Sir Seretse Khama.  Throughout his mission, he led with unwavering commitment, an attribute that contributed to his appointment as the first Motswana bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Setlalekgosi will also be remembered for his immense contribution in the social and economic development of this country with particular focus on education,” read the message from Masisi.

Representing Botswana Council of Churches, Reverend Rupert Hambira said the council has known and respected Setlalekgosi for many years.  He said Setlalekgosi saw an opportunity in every obstacle and light where there was darkness.

“His love for the people and the country transcended boundaries of race, class, ethnicity, denomination in our population, and he served as a model of how to be tolerant.

He served us very well ensuring that the Roman Catholic Church becomes an active member of BCC.  He was dynamic both spiritually and socially, he was approachable, loving and caring for all of us,” he said.   Setlalekgosi died on January 25, 2019 at the age of 91 after being ill for some time. 

to Bishop Frank Nabuasah, he was treated at Bokamoso Hospital.  At some point, he was taken to South Africa to consult a specialist and had been in and out of hospital for two months. 

was the first Motswana to be appointed to the position of bishop. He was born in Serowe on September 14, 1927 and grew up in the small village of Mmaphashalala in the Central District.  Setlalekgosi contributed immensely to the social, political and economic growth of the country, with a focus on education, health, land development, poverty eradication and skills development. 

Amongst some of the good deeds he will be remembered for is starting a feeding scheme in primary schools and home-based care at Pabalelong Hospice in Metsimotlhabe, which takes care of those affected by chronic diseases amongst others. Setlalekgosi also started a study group in Francistown, which later transformed into present-day Setlalekgosi  Junior Secondary School.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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