14 July 2021
It feels like I have known Louis Scheepers all my life. That our paths did not cross in the 80s could be because of our opposing ideological viewpoints. But we connected professionally Saldanha Bay Municipality when he was appointed on a second stint as municipal manager. I think it was around 2007 or so. Louis must have been one of the youngest municipal managers when he was appointed then. We then reconnected Stellenbosch University when we embarked on Mount Phd.
To keep us motivated we made a pact in the Autumn of 2010. We would write our names on a piece of paper like this (Dr) Louis Scheepers and that we will work till those brackets fell. Dr Scheepers brackets fell before mine and on the day of his grad I called to congratulate and he was so elated. A year later i reached the summit and the first person to congratulate me was brother Louis. For Louis it was never about the title but the work that was to be done. It was about service to the people and being an ethical leader, to stay true to the values of the constitution.
We spoke a week ago, he was on an assignment to turn local government around in Mpumalanga. He called with an opportunity that he could not take, but he wanted to hand to me. Such was Louis, a big man, with an even bigger heart. A loyal and committed local government activist who refused to compromise.
Louis was a regular guest on Radio KC 107.7FM talk show where he impressed with his calm analysis and sharp intellect. He still had so much to give, we were waiting to hear from the DBSA on an opportunity to research the District Development Model.
Louis touched so many lives and impacted many as he unselfishly scattered his gifts. Our hearts are with his broader family, wife Penny and children and the broader local government fraternity where comrade Louis left an indelible mark. I will miss our sparring sessions on local governance, the what must still be done. The contradictions and the wise compromise. That we are not yet and our never give up resolve. May his gentle soul rest in peace and may we who stay behind, work even harder to build the South Africa of our dreams.
We can scream from the mountain top that Prof Dr Louis Scheepers was one of our finest. A son of the soil. A leader not a looter.
By- Dr. Harlan Cloete