Khoi-San leader Ockert Lewies remembered as a prayer warrior
The leader of the Khoi-San nation, Chief Ockert “Okkie” Lewies, 67, has been hailed as a prayer warrior and good leader who respected women and loved children.
Fellow leader and good friend Aaron Messelaar, head of the Griqua royal house and deputy secretary of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa), told TimesLIVE Lewies passed away on Wednesday night at Ladismith Hospital in the Western Cape.
“He was admitted to hospital four weeks ago and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer,” Messelaar said.
He described Lewies as a brilliant person who liked to make jokes.
“It was always cheerful wherever he was. He was very good with people and made everyone around him comfortable. This is a great loss to our nation,” he said.
Messelaar said he has known Lewies since 1985. He said Lewies served in the Griqua royal house and was chosen to represent the Khoi-San nation in all interfaith groups in the country and religious forums as he was a prayer warrior. He said Lewies was good friends with former president Jacob Zuma.
Lewies represented the Khoi-San nation in prayer at the annual ANC birthday celebrations.
“He was quite an active person and lived a very healthy lifestyle. He participated in marathons and was an avid runner,” said Messelaar.
The official memorial service for the chief will be held next Thursday at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town.
He will be buried at the mission town of Zoar, his birthplace and where he had lived his last few years.