Julius Paulu, the strongest black go player in South Africa, was shot and killed on September 15, 2008, in Soweto near Johannesburg.
He represented South Africa at the World Amateur Go Championship in 2006 in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
He was also a member of the South African team to compete at the 1st World Mind Sports Games in Beijing in October 2008. The killing of Julius was a cowardly act by heartless criminals. He is deeply missed by his team-mates and by more in the go community.
Ben Gale, another member of the South African team in Beijing, was a close friend of Julius. Ben wrote the article below.
It is with regret that I must bring you this news. Julius Paulu, one of the
longest-standing and most-loved members of the South African go community, died last night when he was shot in a hijacking. He was 24 years old. He leaves behind his mother, younger sister and girlfriend of five years.
When I first started to become friends with Julius, he was somewhere around the beginning of high school. He lived with his family in a small shack. His dream was to get a job so that he could look after his family and they could move out into their own house. But he had no electricity and could hardly study. He woke up every day at 4am so he could walk the 6km to school because he did not have the money for a taxi. He worked tirelessly. In 2001, we were happy to learn that Julius had achieved something that hardly anyone from his school had ever achieved – university admission. Yesterday, he was working as a cost accountant, and was due to complete his BCom at the end of the year. He was achieving his dreams. And we know he would have achieved so much more.Even when things were not going his way, he always had time to look after other people. Children saw him as a father figure, while adults were taken aback by his manners, charm and good nature. He radiated positivity everywhere he went.
There was never a dull moment with him around – he always had a laugh to share with everybody. He was a good friend to so many of us.
We can all learn so much from him.
Ben Gale, 2008 September 16.