It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing of our colleague, Dr Manuel Giesteira, on 23 March after a short illness.
Manuel was born on 24 January 1950 and spent the first years growing up in Mozambique. He came to South Africa at the age of 13 to complete his schooling at Rob Ferreira High School. He matriculated at the age of 16, then studied Medicine at Pretoria University, did his intern year at the Universitas and Pelonomi Hospitals in Bloemfontein and spent some time at Thusong Missionary hospital before commencing his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of the Orange Free State.
He graduated with a MMed (O&G) cum laude and a FCOG qualification from the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of South Africa and was also awarded the Daubenton medal for obtaining outstanding results in the Fellowship examination. He subsequently went to Scotland to further his studies and also obtain his RCOG qualification from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
He then joined Dr Merwe Bouwer in private practice in Johannesburg and together with partners, joining later on, built this practice to one of the largest gynaecological entities in Gauteng. His fluency in English and Afrikaans as well as Portuguese, encouraged international patients to consult with him.
The combination of academic astuteness, excellent clinical skills and compassion for his patients made him a highly respected professional with patients and colleagues alike. Many babies that he delivered many years ago have returned to him later to deliver their own babies.
In 2017 he was awarded a certificate of excellence by the South African Portuguese Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding professional contribution.
Manuel was never a person for half measures – whatever he pursued in his professional life or as hobbies were done with passion and enthusiasm, investing time and effort to become an expert in the specific field. His hobbies included fly fishing, photography and golf. He also loved traveling with his wife Filo and managed to achieve a work/life balance after so many years of extremely hard work.
He was a dedicated father to his children and was immensely proud of their achievements.
The greatest legacy anyone can leave behind is to positively impact the lives of others. He will be sorely missed by his many patients as well as his family and a large circle of friends and colleagues.
He is survived by Filo, his children Nequita, Francois, Marcelle and Dario and 4 grandchildren.
May he rest in peace.
Dr Coen Groenewald and Dr Maritha van der Walt
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