We are deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of our colleague, Ms Thembakazi Rala (49), on 1 March 2021.
Ms Rala joined the University of Cape Town (UCT) School of Education in January 2013 and worked as administrative officer. She established a central role for herself in the school, where she was deeply appreciated by all staff and students for her professionalism, generosity and willingness to always go the extra mile.
She is remembered by colleagues for being efficient, meticulous and ethical in everything she did. Students found a warm and welcoming space in her office as she worked to sort out their issues, both large and small. Many people said that they appreciated that they could engage with her in isiXhosa. She was always patient with those who sought her assistance. Staff members, including a large number of part-time staff, honorary research associates and emeritus professors, felt that they could always count on her, as she sought to do her utmost to solve their problems.
She will be remembered for her large presence and warm laugher. Her colleagues admired her strength and resilience.
Ms Rala leaves behind her partner Carl; daughter Babalwa; and two grandchildren, Owam and Amyoli.
Her funeral took place on Saturday, 13 March 2021 in Langa, Cape Town. To celebrate her life, the school will hold a small memorial service on Friday, 19 March 2021.
The university has reached out to offer support to the bereaved family, and our heartfelt condolences go out to them and all who knew Ms Rala.
The UCT Executive
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