The leader of the Khoi-San Nation, Chief Ockert “Okkie” Lewies, 67, was hailed as a prayer warrior and good leader who respects women and loves children.
Co-leader and good friend Aaron Messelaar, Chief of the Griqua royals and deputy secretary of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa), told TimesLIVE that Lewies died Wednesday evening at Ladismith Hospital in the Western Cape.
“He was hospitalized four weeks ago Admitted and diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, “said Messelaar.
He described Lewies as a brilliant person who loved to joke.
” It was always happy wherever he was . He was very good with people and made sure everyone around him was 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, the Khoi-San nation overall to represent interfaith groups in the country and religious forums as he was a prayer warrior. He said Lewis was good friends with former President Jacob Zuma.
Lewies prayerfully represented the Khoi San nation at the annual ANC birthday celebrations.
“He was a pretty active person and lived a very healthy lifestyle. He has participated in marathons and was an avid runner, “said Messelaar.
The official memorial service for the chief will take place next Thursday at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town.
He will be in buried in the mission city of Zoar, his birthplace and where he lived for the last few years.