CAPE TOWN, July 25 – President Jacob Zuma has declared a Special Provincial Official Funeral for anti-apartheid activist and well known government communicator Ronnie Mamoepa who died in Pretoria on Saturday.
Zuma hailed Mamoepa as a “highly regarded government communicator, accomplished public servant and freedom fighter”.
In a statement, the Presidency said Mamoepa, a liberation struggle activist and former Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, had became actively involved in the struggle for freedom and democracy at a very young age, which led to his arrest by apartheid security forces and him being sentenced to five years on Robben Island while still in his teens.
“He will fondly and forever be remembered for his humour and humility as well as the sterling work he displayed during his extensive spell in government where he served various government departments and political principals as spokesperson with distinction until his untimely death,” the statement said.
Mamoepa had worked as head of communications and spokesperson for the first Gauteng Premier, Tokyo Sexwale between 1994 and 1996. He further served as a Chief Director: Communication and spokesperson to former President Thabo Mbeki and also spokesperson for then Deputy President Jacob Zuma, prior to his appointment as a spokesperson to former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a position that he served with merit and dedication at their then head office at the Union Buildings from 2000 to 2009.
According to the Presidency, since 2010, Mamoepa had also worked as Deputy Director-General: Communication and spokesperson to Dr Dlamini Zuma in the Department of Home Affairs, where he is credited with the most successful turn-around communications strategy in that Department.
He was seconded to the Presidency by the Department of Home Affairs in 2014 to serve as the spokesperson to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a position he held until his last day.
“Mr Mamoepa’s love and passion for communication as well as his affable and engaging nature is legendary both inside and outside government. He has also been credited with mentoring a number of young people as communicators of both Government and the ruling party, the African National Congress, of which he was a proud member and Spokesperson in its Department of Information and Publicity after the dawn of freedom in 1994.”
Zuma said: “We have lost one of the most outstanding communicators of the work of government and a renowned mediator of information between government and the communities we serve, through the media. I wish to once again convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mamoepa family, friends and relatives as well as comrades in his political home, the African National Congress. We share their loss deeply. May his soul rest in peace.”
The President has ordered that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the Gauteng province on Saturday, July 29, the day of the funeral.
The details of his memorial service and the funeral will be communicated by the Gauteng Provincial Government.
– African News Agency (ANA)