George Keetile (Tshepiso), an aviation enthusiast from
Siyandiza was laid to rest on 19 July 2014 in Ganyesa, 70km
from Vryburg, North West Province. He was accorded a
Semi-Military Funeral as military custom dictated.
Locals braved the shivering cold morning weather to witness
a military funeral, a first in the dusty streets of Ganyesa.
The residents held their mobile phones in hand taking
pictures and video, recording a historic moment unfolding in
Charplain Wonke Buqa
leading the pall bearers on a slow-march
read from Genesis 41: 37 “The plan seemed good to Pharaoh
and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we
find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of
God”. He said fewer men who were like the late Cpl Keetile.
Many man will join and work for the organisation, but none
compare to him. He was uttering words that most of the
speakers said. His childhood friend, Mr Modiri Gaebuelwe
said he would always miss his mentor. Mr Gaebuelwe sobbed as
he recalled their childhood pranks.
Cpl Keetile’s last words to his mother, Ms Grace Keetile
were “let me rush to work because I have to prepare
activities for the 67 minutes of Mandela Day”. She then
replied him by “go well my son and come back”. She said it
has become sad now “because he did not return and a big hole
has been left in my heart, my problem solver is no more”.
Ms Keetile said it was a pity she was not a uniform member,
because she wanted to salute her son, “but I salute the air
force for keeping and looking after my son”. In thanking the
SAAF, she said “Le he re ka arohana, dipelo di tla nne di
kopane” (Even if we are to part our hearts would always be
Colonel George Ramaremisa
hands over the storm flag to Cpl Keetile's mother as his
little brother Phenyo looks on
she advised Siyandiza to keep flying and keep Cpl Keetile’s
legacy alive, herself a youth developer said she is willing
to assist if needs be. Cpl Keetile is survived by a
4-years-old daughter Mohau, mother and two brothers (Bakang
Cpl Keetile was born on 16 December 1983 in Ganyesa started
with primary schooling at Ganyesa Primary School in 1989. On
completion on grade 7 Keetile left Ganyesa Primary. He then
went to Tong Comprehensive School where he matriculated. On
completion of grade 12, Mpho enrolled at Soshanguve
Technical Collage until 2004. Mpho with his N-Courses
qualifications joined the South African Air Force (SAAF) in
the same year.
According to his mother, joining the organisation was not
easy for her son. She added that after numerous attempts her
son embraced the blue uniform. It is evident that Cpl
Keetile loved the SAAF as he served the organisation for
almost 10 years. Mpho met his untimely death still part of
the SAAF’s aviation awareness programme.
Ms Grace Keetile and Phenyo
sob as the body of Mpho was commited into the soil
Major, Senior Staff Officer (SSO) of Siyandiza said she
would miss the workaholic in Corporal Mpho Keetile. She said
he was a man that could seat with senior officers and
convince them to buy into his ideas about aviation
Many of his colleagues spoke about his having spread his
knowledge of aviation with South Africa’s youth. Siyandiza
in conjunction with the Department of Basic Education (DBE)
manages to visit schools in all nine provinces teaching
young people about aviation.