Hambe kahle chief

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - Mar­lan Pa­day­achee

THE sad demise of Ron­nie Mamoepa is a real blow to his pro­fes­sional brand of gov­ern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

His boss, deputy pres­i­dent and sec­ond in line in the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa de­scribed the for­mer Robben Is­land po­lit­i­cal pris­oner and top spokesper­son as one of the best com­mu­ni­ca­tors in the demo­cratic gov­ern­ment since 1994, say­ing he was hon­est, en­gag­ing and a pro­fes­sional com­mu­ni­ca­tor, not a spin doc­tor.

He was a spokesper­son who had in­tegrity, knowl­edge on many is­sues, as well as a wicked sense of hu­mour.

Mamoepa was a rare fig­ure in com­mu­ni­ca­tions who was mul­ti­lin­gual and could tell the same story in four lan­guages – in­clud­ing Afrikaans. He is ma­jor loss to jour­nal­ists and the me­dia fra­ter­nity. His un­timely death at 56 also fo­cuses on the stress, trauma, dead­lines, dam­age con­trol and cri­sis pol­i­tics.

The cur­rent crop of gov­ern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tors can only en­hance their job de­scrip­tions by learn­ing from the ace prac­ti­tioner of com­mu­ni­ca­tions – if not us­ing Mamoepa as a case study – “The Life and Times of a Vi­sion­ary Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tor”.

Hambe kahle, chief, rest in peace in the great blue skies where iconic lead­ers re­side. For 25 years of ser­vice de­liv­ery, the man from Cen­tu­rion de­serves a provin­cial state fu­neral amid the dipped flags of the ANC. Me­dia strate­gist and re­searcher, KwaZulu-Natal

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