Former minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, has passed away.
Gaolathe, aged 68, passed away on Friday at around 2am in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He underwent three surgical operations to remove tumours.
The first operation was in 2008 and another operation was in mid 2009 before the General Elections.
His last operation was earlier this year around mid January.
Born in 1942, Gaolathe did his primary education in Changate before moving to Matengwe. In 1959 he enrolled at Moeng College to do his secondary studies.
He enrolled at the then University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) in 1964 and proceeded to graduate with a BSc degree. He later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of London.
Seven years later, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bradford.
Gaolathe joined the civil service in 1968 and was in 1973 appointed permanent secretary. He has had an illustrious public service career and has worked as Permanent Secretary for 16 years in the ministry of Finance and Development Planning, he is a former Debswana MD, Former Bank of Botswana Governor and BDC’s longest serving board member.
He joined politics in 1999 when he was appointed a Specially Elected MP and was, thereafter, appointed the minister of Finance and Development Planning. In 2004 he contested the General elections for the Tonota North constituency and after winning the constituency was reappointed to serve as minister of Finance and Development Planning.
At the time of going to press funeral arrangements were still to be announced.
In a brief interview, his son Ndaba Gaolathe said that his father would be remembered as “a good man, a man of impeccable integrity, wise as Solomon, as fair-minded as a greyed judge, as kind as mother Teressa, possessing a will of steel, towering intellect, extraordinary generosity of heart, blessed with a faith of Sarah and as patient as a desert camel. a humble and morally upright professional, politician and public servant. God’s remarkable gift to his family and people”.