Preparations for Mama Ruth’s funeral advanced

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

By More Matshediso

Pretoria - An official memorial service will be held in Vryburg in the North West tomorrow to honour struggle stalwart Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on State Funerals announced on Wednesday.

The IMC on State Funerals, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, met in Cape Town yesterday to sign off the final funeral preparations of Mama Ruth, as she was affectionately known.

She died at age 89 on 12 May.

Minister Radebe said the official memorial service will be organised by government and will be held at 12pm at Huhudi Stadium in Vryburg.

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo is expected to deliver a keynote address.

Various memorial services have been taking place across the province to honour Mama Ruth since Sunday, including those held at her former school in Tigerkloof and her place of birth Tlapeng.

Minister Radebe said Mama Ruth will be remembered as a humble, disciplined and dedicated champion of the people.

“Mama Ruth Mompati was one of the central figures in organising the historic 9th August 1956 march by over 20 000 women of all races to Pretoria,” he said.

Funeral preparations

President Jacob Zuma, who will deliver a eulogy at the funeral on Saturday, has accorded Mama Ruth a special official funeral category 1.

He has ordered that national flags to be flown at half-mast at all flag posts in the Republic from 13 May until Saturday evening.

Minister Radebe said Mama Ruth will be laid to rest this Saturday following a service at Vryburg Showgrounds at 9am.

“Members of the public will be transported in and around the North West province to pay their final respect to Mama Ruth Mompati. Pick up points for mourners will be announced at a later stage by the North West province,” said Minister Radebe.

Condolence books

A total of 54 condolence books have been placed at various government and municipal buildings across the province.

Minister Radebe encouraged members of the public to convey their messages of condolences to the Mompati family.

Condolence books are placed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town.

In the provinces, mourners can sign condolence books at the Garona Building in Mahikeng and Vryburg, GCIS North West Provincial office, Naledi Local Municipality, Hayes Park in Vryburg, Dr Ruth Mompati District Municipality, Mamusa Local Municipality, Leekwa Teemane, Bloemhof and Christiana, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, Dr Keneth Kaunda District Municipality, Bojanala District Municipality and North West Provincial Legislature.

About Mama Ruth

Mama Ruth was born in Gnyesa Village in Vryburg on 14 September 1925. While in exile, she, together other women, drove the plight of South African women in the international platforms.

Minister Radebe said they fought for the rights of women to be in the forefront of the agenda of the African National Congress (ANC) struggle for liberation.

In 1994, she was elected to the National Assembly and served as a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996. In 1996 she became the Ambassador to Switzerland and served in that capacity until 2000.

She served for two terms as a Mayor of Naledi Municipality in Vryburg, where she resided until her Passing. -

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