Mamoepa: A true public servant with passion, pride

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A revolutionary, a freedom fighter, a true public servant, who had a real passion for his job, were just some of the qualities that speakers used to describe the late Government Communicator Ronnie Mamoepa.

Mamoepa, who was well-known in the media circles, served as a spokesperson at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Home Affairs and since 2014 was at the Presidency as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson.

Among those who spoke at the memorial service held at the Tshwane Events Centre on Thursday, was Director General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, who described Mamoepa as someone who represented the best.

“Ronnie was a revolutionary. Ronnie was not a free floating public servant.” Dr Lubisi said Mamoepa was a true public servant who continued to be a professional.

“Without Ronnie the whole of the Union Buildings and Tuynhuys in Cape Town will be quieter,” Dr Lubisi said.

According to Dr Lubisi, they have learnt much from the late Mamoepa. “We are deeply saddened by his sudden departure,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Government, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said the Mamoepa family should be proud.

“He lived his life with distinction. He was a freedom fighter and a servant of the people,” Minister Pandor said, adding that he was a committed public servant.

“He always did what he was supposed to do. I admired his work. He made Home Affairs sexy. He had a real passion for Home Affairs,” she said.

According to Minister Pandor, it was Mamoepa’s idea that the stalwarts be the first to get the Smart Card IDs.

“He lived his life with integrity,” the Minister added.

Speaking on behalf of the Gauteng Legislature, Ntombi Mekgwe, told mourners that Mamoepa risked his life to fight injustices.

“Upon his release from the Robben Island, Ronnie surprised us by his high spirit. Ronnie always reminded us that he was watching us,” Mekgwe said.

Ambassador Ben M’poko, speaking on behalf of the Diplomatic Corps, described Mamoepa as a distinguished freedom fighter and a public servant.

“He was a perfect communicator, very engaging and very intelligent. He spoke with passion about his country; there were no fake stories from Ronnie,” said Ambassador M’poko.

On Wednesday, at the memorial service held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) offices, government officials, politicians and journalists described Mamoepa as someone who loved his work.

Prior to serving as spokesperson for the Deputy President, Mamoepa served as Chief Director of Communications for both Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, as well as spokesperson for Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs at the time.

Other positions held include head of communications for the ANC Regional Executive Committee and head of communications and spokesperson for the first Gauteng Premier Tokyo Sexwale between 1994 and 1996.

The President has ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in Gauteng on Saturday, the day of the funeral.

The funeral service will be held at the St Albans Cathedral (Anglican) in Tshwane and the burial will take place at the Zandfontein Cemetery. –

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