A sad loss

Henry Thomas Kleinhans.

Amanda Lopes, community worker

Community activist Henry Thomas Kleinhans died on Thursday May 30 and his funeral was yesterday Tuesday June 11 at St Cyprus Church, in Retreat.

Mr Kleinhans was born on June 13 1956. He stayed in Constantia until the age of 6 when they were forced to move to Cafda Village due to apartheid’s Group’s Area Act.

He was the second youngest child of Sarah and John Kleinhans, of five siblings.

Mr Kleinhans matriculated at Grassy Park High School in 1974. His first career was as a teacher at Chrystal Senior Secondary School.

His passion was always to uplift his community and he always offered a helping hand. He gave extra classes to school children, promoting the game of rugby and teaching the children how to catch fish. The first rugby club he played for was Kalk Bay Marine in 1978.

In the mid-1980s he went to play for the Retreat Rugby Club while he was studying journalism. He worked for Die Burger for five years but left his job when my granny got very ill. He was still doing editorial work for them from home. He also used to speak German, a little French and he mastered the Afrikaans language.

Mr Kleinhans moved to Johannesburg to go and worked for Beeld newspaper for around four years. There he found out that he had diabetes.

He then moved back to Cape Town while still working for Beeld newspaper as part-time editor.

During last year he suffered a stroke. He had never been the same afterwards. He never told the family the pain and suffering he went through. He never told us of the loss of his eyesight. He was a very independent, strong-willed and private person.

He leaves behind his three sisters. He never married and had no children.

We only found out recently that he was a professor in Afrikaans literacy and geology.

We will surely miss him.