Ronnie pained by factionalism in ANC
DEPUTY President Cyril Ramaphosa used Ronnie Mamoepa’s funeral on Saturday to plead with members of the ANC to unite, saying this is what the late government spokesperson would have wanted.
Ramaphosa said faction fighting, which had gripped the ANC, had pained Mamoepa and he often told him how the party had to seek remedial action to restore itself to its former glory.
“He was saddened by the conflict and wanted unity within the party,” Ramaphosa said, addressing a packed St Alban’s Cathedral in Pretoria.
ANC officials, including members of the national executive committee, attended.
Among the mourners were former president Thabo Mbeki, former AU chairperson and ANC presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Gauteng ANC leader Paul Mashatile and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
The deputy president, also an ANC presidential contender, said Mamoepa had displayed unwavering commitment to the movement. “Even at the most challenging of moments, when others doubted the possibility of success, when some were reluctant to confront difficult and dangerous tasks, he persevered.”
Ramaphosa said Mamoepa could not be tempted to betray the moral precepts with which he had been raised, nor the revolutionary morality that was an essential part of him.
“As the corrosive effects of power and authority took hold of many within the movement, Ronnie remained steadfast. He remained honest, true to his word and true to himself. Above all, Ronnie was a loyal and disciplined cadre of the movement,” said Ramaphosa.
Mamoepa’s discipline was expressed, not in blind adherence to organisational authority, but in an appreciation that the power of any revolutionary movement lay in the commitment of its leaders and members to serving the people.
“Without that commitment, the movement is ineffective, the Struggle is futile. He knew the struggles that had been fought by those who came before him, he knew the sacrifices they had made, the difficult choices they had faced and the political debates that had raged,” he said.
While the service was sombre some of the guest speakers, including former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and the SABC’s former acting chief executive, Phil Molefe, created a light mood as they spoke of their fondest memories of the erstwhile Robben Island political prisoner.
Mourners were greeted by a huge portrait of Mamoepa at the entrance to the cathedral. Friends and family arrived in the morning and assumed their seats, while reading the bulky programme.
A video and slide show showed Mamoepa’s extensive communications career and in it people also witnessed how he enjoyed singing and dancing, doing renditions of Whitney Huston and Michael Jackson.
Mamoepa’s wife, Audrey, described their love and dedication to each other and their family. “I am grateful for the home we made for each other and our children. I am not sure what life will be like without you at my side, to laugh with, to sit with, and to enjoy the ice cream you brought home,” she wrote in her dedication.
Mamoepa’s children – Olefile, Muriel, Sakhile, Ntando and Ofentse – described him as a loving father.
LOVING TRIBUTE: Ronnie Mamoepa’s children Ofentse, Ntando, Muriel, Sakhile and Olefile at his funeral service.
UNITY CALL: Cyril Ramaphosa