Former student activist remembered for serving selflessly, and for being the epitome of black excellence.

Tiego Moseneke, who has died at the age of 60, has been described as “a very persuasive and dynamic leader” by Professor Firoz Cachalia, chairperson of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council.

The businessman, lawyer and Wits alumnus died in a car accident on the night of April 19, while on the way home in Pretoria. He was the brother of retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.

“I have known Tiego for over 40 years. He always acted strategically. He lived a very dynamic life, and we were close friends,” said Cachalia who mobilised Moseneke during the 2015/6 #FeesMustFall movement to actively engage with the Wits SRC leadership and to share their perspective from their experiences as student leaders in the early 1980s.  

Moseneke was among anti-apartheid student activists who fought for the right to education, syncing with the national movement at the time. In 1983 he was elected president of the Black Students Society at Wits University.  

Dr Kenneth Creamer, senior lecturer at the school of economics and finance, said, “Over the past six years, Tiego played a key role in setting up the South African Students Solidarity Foundation for Education (SASSFE) [in 2016] to mobilise alumni to support students in need.”

He served in the first national executive of the United Democratic Front, with the current deputy president of the country, Paul Mashatile, and was an executive member of the ANC in Gauteng after its unbanning in 1990. 

Moseneke founded several companies, among them the New Diamond Corporation, which partnered with De Beers, and New Platinum Corporation. He also founded the law firm, Moseneke & Partners and was also the founder and controlling shareholder of the investment company, Encha Group.

“Tiego understood well the importance of patience, tolerance and wisdom in unravelling the complexities of race and class in South Africa and I watched his growth with pride from afar. His sagacity, and compelling mix of quiet thoughtfulness and boundless energy is a massive loss to a country that needs, more than ever, such qualities. My thoughts are with his family in this a sorrowful time,” said Dr David Johnson who is the university reader in comparative and international education and fellow of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. 

Moseneke was laid to rest at Zandfontein Cemetery in Pretoria on April 26. Delivering the eulogy, his brother Dikgang said, “Tiego’s distinct gift was his intellect. He was bright.” His wife, Koketso Moseneke, described him as the “epitome of love and laughter”.

FEATURED IMAGE: Tiego Moseneke at the launch of the South African Student Solidarity Foundation for Education in April 2016. Photo: Duane Jones