Ron­nie pained by fac­tion­al­ism in ANC

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SAKHILE NDLAZI

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

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