Death of ac­tivist Ron­nie Ber­nickow

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BRONWYN DAVIDS

LONG-time union­ist, ac­tivist and “true ser­vant of the peo­ple”, Ron­ald “Bernie” Ber­nickow died on Mon­day.

Tire­less in his ef­forts to serve with “fair­ness”, Ber­nickow who was a Me­dia Work­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of SA (Mwasa) or­gan­iser and a determined ac­tivist dur­ing apartheid when the me­dia was crip­pled by state of emer­gency laws, was re­cently ap­pointed as the public rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Western Cape Chap­ter of In­de­pen­dent Me­dia’s Om­bud Ap­peals Panel.

Yes­ter­day, In­de­pen­dent Me­dia ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Dr Iqbal Survé said he was “deeply sad­dened”.

“Many Strug­gle jour­nal­ists will re­mem­ber him as a tough trade union­ist, who stood by what he be­lieved in.

“Ron­ald rep­re­sented a rare breed of ac­tivist, who came through the Strug­gle of the eight­ies and who con­tin­ued to serve our peo­ple with pride and dig­nity. There was not much Ron­ald would not, or could not do. He will be re­mem­bered for his sense of fair­ness and for his hu­mil­ity,” said Survé.

In­de­pen­dent Me­dia Om­buds­man Jovial Ran­tao de­scribed Ber­nickow as “an as­tute man, a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional, a lov­ing fa­ther and a life­long ac­tivist for truth and fair­ness”.

Fel­low pan­el­list Rich Mkhondo said he was a “man with a big heart. A gen­tle gi­ant who has left so many mem­o­ries. Gone from our sights – but for­ever in our hearts”.

Ber­nickow had also served as the Com­mis­sion for Con­cil­i­a­tion, Me­di­a­tion and Ar­bi­tra­tion as na­tional se­nior com­mis­sioner for op­er­a­tions.

RON­ALD BER­NICKOW

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