Award Winner 2012


Ntate Antipas Tshene Sehlapelo

Antipas Sehlapelo on right (photo by Johnny Mohale)

The late Ntate Sehlapelo, born in Lady Selborne, Pretoria, in 1937, was an enduring tennis player, coach and administrator, a sporting career which followed after another brilliant career as a young footballer.

Although his first love was football, he took to tennis when knee injuries denied him the pleasure of continuing playing football. His biggest role in tennis was breaking through apartheid barriers when they struggled for integration in the sport. He joined other veterans such as Joseph Kekana, Masobe Mohosoa and Uncle Tshankie in the Atteridgeville Tennis Association to pull ranks with Coloureds and Indians to form the non-racial Tennis Association of SA. He became directly and enthusiastically involved in tennis development for juniors with David Samaai, the first Black South African to play at Wimbledon.

His protégés such as his own daughter, Mmoni Sehlapelo, Oupa Nelson Mogale, David Ledwaba, the Lefshiedi siblings of Kgomotso, Lebo and Lucas and Trevor Morolo came into the limelight as junior stars at the local, regional and national tennis courts participating in the then South African Lawn Tennis Association, Transvaal Open and other tournaments. Mmoni and Lucas won the national under 20 mixed doubles in Cape Town in 1984.

He was also a crack footballer at the then famous Spa Sporting Club and has had the honour of being acknowledged by then Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the Union Building in 2009 together with other Spa Sporting legends, who the Deputy President had briefly played with at Spa in the sixties. Some of the other legends that he played with include Seth Stopper Seopela, Stanley Mogale, Frans Garrincha Kgobe, Mauser Matlala, goalkeeper Majola, Mali ABC Motsepe, Ray Kekana, Lexie Mothabela, Barrat Tabane, Bantala Matlala and Yellow Mangubewa.