Advocate Simmy’s obituary
As a well spent day brings a good happy sleep, a so well life used brings a peaceful death. Those who lived wisely do not fear death, their legacy are etched in our hearts. The community of Atteridgeville, the legal fraternity have lost one its most dedicated, principled, competent and passionate practitioner and a social activist. A man with a heart that was deeply rooted in the principles of justice, fairness and equal human rights. The eloquent Advocate Simmy Maropeng Lebala passed away on the morning of Saturday the 15th August 2020 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. He was a practicing Senior Counsel, an academic and a fierce campaigner for meaningful transformation in the legal fraternity. He will be remembered for his razor-sharp analysis, clear vision of socio – legal and human rights principles.
Advocate Simmy Lebala was a man who possessed a deeply principled approach to every issue he took on, including equal recognition of women in the legal profession. He was one of the founder members of the Advocates For Transformation (AFT) and also served in the Pretoria Bar Council and its subcommittees He had a remarkable ability to combine academic analysis and advocacy techniques. Always known amongst colleagues for his thoughtful, meticulous and extremely thorough way of working and legal research. Advocate Simmy Lebala was also supremely graceful, meticulous and insightful legal writer who contributed immensely to the legal publications, including Advocate and many others. As a Senior Counsel he has appeared in court cases representing litigants ranging from corporates, tribal communities to State Departments. He also served on a number of boards, including the National Horse Racing Authority of Southern Africa, the North West Gambling Board and the Companies Tribunal Advocate Simmy Lebala was a social activist and was passionate about academics. He lectures at Vista University (Soweto) now University of Johannesburg in the mid 1990’s and was committed to the upliftment and improvement of the education of the youth.
He worked tirelessly to build education structures and address the challenges facing the community of Atteridgeville, this is evidenced by his deep involvement in the philanthropic social responsibility work within the community structures including Creative Alliance for Youth in Arts (CAYA) a music school training and teaching the youth the classic music theory and instruments and SJS Moseneke Educational Foundation an entity that is focused on supporting the profession of teaching, promoting excellence in teaching by empowering educators to be the best that they can be. Shortly before his passing, Advocate Simmy Lebala had committed himself to a community project that aimed to provide additional sanitizers, face masks,soaps and detergents to the SK Moseneke Primary School in Lotus Gardens.
He was a devout member of the Lutheran Church in Atteridgeville and embraced the principle of “I am, because you are”, hence his favourite expression “Namaste”. “The Advocate” was also an impeccable dresser with a great sense of style. He enjoyed fine dining, golf, cycling and attending music and social events. He was a staunch supporter of the Mamelodi Sundowns and Arsenal Football teams He is survived by his mother Mme May Lebala, son Loatile, two elder sisters and nephews and nieces. He will be missed by family, friends and colleagues for his kindness, professionalism and sense of humour.
Robala gabotse Mokwena! Namaste