Cabinet extends condolences to Mme Ruth's family

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pretoria - Cabinet has extended its condolences to the family and friends of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, following her passing on Tuesday.

Addressing media during a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said Mme Ruth was a true servant of the people and played an indelible role in the development of South Africa.

Williams said she devoted her life to the liberation of the country and showed an unwavering determination to serve her people.

Mompati, 89, died in the early hours of Tuesday after an illness. 

President Jacob Zuma has declared a special official funeral for the late struggle stalwart.

This category of funeral is designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa for distinguished persons, according to the Presidency.  

This means that all national flags at all flag stations in the country will be flown at half-mast from today until the day of the funeral.

Government is still in discussion with the family regarding the date of the funeral. “The Presidency will communicate details of the funeral once they are finalised.”

Dr Mompati dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom and was involved initiatives the historic Women`s March of August 1956.

In 1954, she joined the ANC and was elected to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC Women’s League.

She went into exile in 1962 where she underwent military training and held office as secretary and head of the women’s section of the ANC in Tanzania.

As the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom she became part of the delegation that opened talks with the South African government at Groote Schuur in 1990.

In August 1992, she addressed the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid in New York on the subject of women. The day was then declared by the UN, an International Day of Solidarity with Women in South Africa.

She also served as a Member of Parliament, South Africa’s Ambassador to Switzerland from 1996 to 2000 and the Mayor of Vryburg (Naledi) in the North-West Province.

Lieutenant General Bongani Isidore Mbatha

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also extended its condolences to the family and friends of Lieutenant General Bongani Isidore Mbatha following his passing.

General Mbatha passed on after a short illness on the 5th of May 2015.

General Mbatha joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1978, the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) and then served in various capacities including the head of the Logistics.

In 1994, General Mbatha was integrated into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) where he underwent extensive training.

He moved through the ranks within the SANDF, serving in a number of positions until he was promoted to a Lieutenant General responsible for Logistics in 2014, the position he occupied until his death.

The funeral service took place on Wednesday at the Thaba Tshwane Military Sports Club, in Pretoria. –