The death of my brotherly friend is more than just a loss to only just a few of us who were closely related with Andries Katlego Monareng, who died at the hands of police at TUT Soshanguve.
During a time when crime seemed as the only escape from poverty in our demotivated community of Ga-Motibidi, it was just a few of us who decided otherwise and opted to study very hard and fulfil our parents’ wishes of inspiring about change in our families.
We both passed matric in the same year, and he was only accepted at TUT a year after me in 2015. I’m constantly struck by a guilty conscience for having convinced him to quit his job in Germiston to study further and also assisting him with applications. He had already given up after two previous failed attempts to register with TUT, but then eventually we all made it to varsity – success seemed inevitable, and an escape from societal struggles seemed imminent for us.
Somehow he knew he would be successful one day. Andries was his only name back then, and he then named himself Katlego (success) later, for obvious reasons. And just when a glimpse of light after a long, dark tunnel seemed to glitter from a reasonable distance away; the warm-hearted, friendly, bubbly and goal-oriented guy lost his life in the cruellest way imaginable. It is safe to reiterate that, although he was a supporter of Pan Africanist Student’s Movement of Azania (PASMA) – contrary to media reports – he wasn’t a political activist on campus.
Those who got an opportunity to hang out with him would agree with me that Katlego lived his life to the best interest of his parents, close family and friends. He didn’t care much about impressing the streets. He had his sights set on the bigger picture; the future! He wanted to finish his studies and work to bring about justice in our communities.
Bushbuckridge has been robbed off one of their own. We will continue with the struggles for justice, financial freedom, unity and happiness, but then what purpose will it serve now? We will continue seeking answers, but that too will never be half the justice, because justice is overrated in this country; it has lost its true meaning. I doubt his soul will ever rest in peace…
My fountain of advises has dried up. I will forever cherish every single moment we spent while growing alongside each other. With his favourite quote; “God made us friends because he knew our parents wouldn’t handle us as brothers,” I am rest assured that, as an older brother, he had the courage to stand up for what he believed in and paved the way for me and everyone else, and that we will reunite one day and continue where we left off.
He will forever be loved and missed.