Lebese died of ‘AIDS-related complications’

Thabang Lebese died of ‘AIDS-related complications’

Posted: 5 March 2012 Time: 04:47 pm

The family of the late Thabang Lebese has revealed the cause of his death.

Lebese died more than a week ago, and his mother Florence Lebese has now released a statement confirming that the former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates midfielder died of “AIDS-related complications”.

“My son Thabang Lebese is no more and though it was difficult we as the Lebese family have accepted his passing,” she says.

“I would like to inform South Africa, especially the football fraternity that my son, Thabang Lebese died of AIDS-related complications. It was his wish to have disclosed his HIV status himself; unfortunately he did not get this opportunity. Thabang was very involved with Show Me Your Number, a social engagement project using sport as a tool to promote HIV/AIDS prevention.

“Through this non-profit organisation, Thabang and other players involved engaged South Africans about prevention, treatment, care and support regarding HIV/AIDS. Show Me Your Number was a platform that my son contributed towards in dealing with the knowledge of his HIV status after testing. He silently used it as a means to encourage many others to do like he did – get tested and know your status so that you can get help.

“As a mother I believe that to address the problem of HIV/AIDS is to speak openly about the disease, so that we deal with the stigma associated with it. Like many others, I could have taken the easy route and keep the cause of my son’s death a secret and in the process allow innuendos fueled by media reports and corridor murmurs of “death due to an undisclosed illness”. But in not speaking out regards Thabang’s cause of death, I would be betraying my son's last wish to disclose his status.

“In his hospital bed, with superb support from the Helen Joseph team of professional medical and administrative teams, Thabang had grown in strength and had accepted his status. He had decided that upon his discharge from the hospital he would not just encourage others about prevention and treatment, but would become a living example of his Show Me Your Number teachings.

“At his prime, Thabang was celebrated, at his lowest ebb and in his coffin to the grave, Thabang was equally celebrated. Some of his friends, co-workers and some of us in his family knew about my son's status and we all allowed him the space he needed, to find the soft landing pad that would have made it easier for him to disclose. At no point did anyone discriminate against him due to his HIV status. That is ubuntu.

“Go my son for you served your purpose in life… You were a true leader. Let us support Thabang’s legacy by joining hands with Show Me Your Number to do greater things in the quest to win this battle.”

Florence Lebese has in the process thanked South Africans for their unwavering support following her son’s death.

“We received with warmth the condolences and messages of support from all South Africans upon learning of Thabang’s death. As a family, we want to sincerely thank Kerrs Funeral Directors for volunteering to help bury Thabang. All we can say to Kerrs, to Show Me Your Number, Kaizer Chiefs FC, Orlando Pirates FC, the Ministry and Department of Sport & Recreation, Gauteng Departments of Health and Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, the City of Joburg, SAFA, the PSL, the multitudes of Thabang’s friends, the football family of former and current players, PSL clubs, the soccer fans - that which you all did for us and for Thabang is unparalleled.

“It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially when that person is the free spirited, jolly and loving person Thabang was. Our grief is made bearable only by the incredible support we have received during this trying time.

“My son's football prowess made a lasting impression on South Africans and his legacy was celebrated in a manner fit for a king. Thabang was given a dignified end,” Lebese concludes.

Follow me on Twitter @TTM16

Article by: Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 04:59 pm
RIP...Khosi 4 Life
Anonymous
posted: 05:01 pm
I wish to commend the Lebese family on their courage in disclosing their sons status. Now lets hear from 25% of players in the PSL on their status.
Anonymous
posted: 05:01 pm
may his soul rest in peace thanks mam 4 such an inspiring and painful statement. However will you please kickoff dwell more on the names of show me your number campaigne members? Soccer lovers deserve to know their heroes who are part of this greatest initiative.
KING?
posted: 05:04 pm

Mr editor we appreciate your effort in keeping us updated.

Majimbos please guys, siyabashaya abantwana for sure and we driving fancy cars which makes it even worse because SA girl are very vulnareble to such.

asiqhokeni ijazi bafowethu
Anonymous
posted: 05:04 pm
Mmm....Kuyazwakala mntomdala, people let's take care of ourselves out there.
TTM
posted: 05:04 pm
Siphiwe : 2012-03-05 16:58
This is a direct statement to the media from Lebese's family.
KING?
posted: 05:06 pm

zwai: its not necessary, dont violate the right to privacy for people.

what are you hoping for.
Anonymous
posted: 05:06 pm
KO, he died of Aids related complications, SO WHAT?
Anonymous
posted: 05:08 pm
Thank you Mama Lebese.Hope this message will be a warning & learning to all of us.

Never will forget Chillies immense talent & the goals he scored.
TTM
posted: 05:12 pm
Timitayol: 2012-03-05 17:06
Here is Florence Lebese's reason: “As a mother I believe that to address the problem of HIV/AIDS is to speak openly about the disease, so that we deal with the stigma associated with it. Like many others, I could have taken the easy route and keep the cause of my son’s death a secret and in the process allow innuendos fueled by media reports and corridor murmurs of “death due to an undisclosed illness”. But in not speaking out regards Thabang’s cause of death, I would be betraying my son's last wish to disclose his status."
Gucci Man
posted: 05:12 pm
Thanks ma-old-lady for coming out publicly and let us aware of this matter. However I still believe it would have been much better to know this while he was still alive.

We salute the Lebese family taking this step, hoping it will not teach players but the whole world about this heartless killer called HIV/AIDS.

Big Up to all the people that were involve in supporting the Lebese family during dark cloud as she mentioned all of them on this article. I would like to say thanks to our 2 SOCCER GIANTS Chiefs & Pirates for showing the spirit of ubuntu as well.

RIP Banda/Chillies
KING?
posted: 05:17 pm

Gucci Man: your first sentence provokes the constitutional freedom of choice. Its not your business when where they suppose to tell us.

Fact remain, we are told of this syndrome everyday yet we stil go out to sleep without using protection.

It does n't matter who says what, people stil go out to experiment with FIRE.
Anonymous
posted: 05:19 pm
bafowethu, jokes aside, this thong is real, as i happen to be one of the people directly affected by this killer disease. 2010 i buried two of my sisters within two months of each other, followed by my sister's ex husband, then my aunt, then my wife's mother's two younger brothers! yes, that thing is nice, but we really need to be careful guys.
KING?
posted: 05:26 pm

Never say never because u trust your beautiful wife or girlfriend.

even in marriages mele kukhale i Condom because your wife might be loyal but guys are very tricky and smart, remember u are not his first boyfriend.

OPERATION CONDOM WAYA WAYA NOMA KUKUPHI start today.
CAF Rule 14.1
posted: 05:26 pm


Please remove Pirates from the AIDS related complications stories!!this was a Chiefs player.

When Zodwa Khoza died of the same illness and our Chairman went public about it and some irrational comments were made by Cheifs fans. Now they want us to show sympthy and love towards their ex-player..Hell no
red skin
posted: 05:40 pm
I thought they once said that it's no longer a death sentence, that one can stay alive and appear healthy even unto old age if one keep taking the drugs.
=This is crime against humanity.

My condolence to the bereaved family..
Anonymous
posted: 05:42 pm
Eish! lengane kaCOWZA ibaqedile abafwethu!!
Anonymous
posted: 05:46 pm
This is not abt chiefs o pirates wena its
abt the
Player who contributed to the
Game on n off the
Field come on man
Anonymous
posted: 05:47 pm
why disclosed now. You better shut your mouth because lebese is no more. Who was his girlfriend, does his girlfriend clean? You must encourage this boys to tell whilst they are still active with their career.
Anonymous
posted: 06:09 pm
Zakumi.com
U were sober on Saturday and 4 the first time u posted something that I still do not believe it came from you. This is not a joke sani AIDS kills!
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