THE Port Alfred Civic Centre was packed last Saturday as more than 250 family members, friends, classmates and people from the community gathered to pay their respects to Siphokuhle Simon Tembani Junior, who was tragically killed in a car accident last month.
A former Port Alfred High School (PAHS) pupil, Tembani, also known as “JR”, was in his final year of a law degree at the University of the Western Cape.
The attendance at the funeral service indicated how many lives he touched.
LOVED BY EVERYONE: One of the photos used at the funeral service of Siphokuhle Simon Tembani Junior, or “JR” as he was known by his friends. He died in a car accident last month Picture: SUPPLIED
JR was born on February 10, 1989 in Port Alfred. He attended PAHS for his entire school career where he played cricket in primary school and athletics in high school. He also played first team rugby, was house captain and was chosen to be a prefect.
After he matriculated he went straight on to study LLB Law at the University of the Western Cape. One of his interests was music, which his older sister Phaphani said he loved.
Phaphani said that everyone who knew him loved him.
“He is one of those people who had such a big heart,” she said.
As a brother he was always supportive. He made sure that she was ok and would have done anything for her, said Phapani.
Classmate and friend Dean Charter said JR was a very confident and bright person.
“He was very outgoing and happy and had a lot of friends,” he said.
Even though JR was very busy with his studies during the term, he would make time to travel to Port Alfred every holiday as well as to Port Elizabeth to visit his friends.
Charter said he JR was a spokesperson for Red Bull and often hosted parties for them. He was also motivated to be an entrepreneur, starting a business with a friend.
“He will be missed by many,” he said.
JR and some friends were driving in Cape Town on May 25 when a truck cut in front of them. They swerved to miss the truck and JR was killed in the accident.
He leaves behind Phaphani, his younger sister Tanya, his father Vukile and his mother Busiswe.
“You are still here in our hearts and minds, still making us laugh because your stories live on. We hold you in our thoughts and can feel you. If love could have kept you here you would never have gone,” Phaphani said in tribute.