Msi­mang was an en­voy of free­dom – Ramaphosa

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NATION - LOY­ISO SIDIMBA loy­[email protected]

PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa yes­ter­day de­scribed late for­mer ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Mendi Msi­mang, as part of a gen­er­a­tion that built the gov­ern­ing party into a for­mi­da­ble mass move­ment.

De­liv­er­ing his eu­logy at Msi­mang’s funeral ser­vice held at the Chris­tian Re­vival Church in Pretoria East yes­ter­day, Ramaphosa said the coun­try needed lead­ers, cadres, pub­lic ser­vants and busi­ness­peo­ple of the Strug­gle vet­eran’s cal­i­bre.

“We need peo­ple like him with an abid­ing hon­esty and es­sen­tial hon­esty,” he said.

Ramaphosa said Msi­mang was scrupu­lous in his de­ter­mi­na­tion that not one cent should go miss­ing from the ANC’s cof­fers.

He said the trea­surer-gen­eral po­si­tion was more dif­fi­cult and haz­ardous than any other in the ANC, but Msi­mang en­sured that no re­sources meant for the party’s trans­for­ma­tion pro­grammes should be mis­ap­pro­pri­ated. Ramaphosa de­scribed Msi­mang, who was demo­cratic South Africa’s first high com­mis­sioner to the UK, as an en­voy of free­dom.

Msi­mang was the ANC’s chief rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the UK dur­ing the fight against apartheid.

“When faced with hos­tile opin­ion, he sought, pa­tiently and with de­lib­er­ate care, to ex­plain the po­si­tions of the ANC.

“He was not one to dis­miss oth­ers be­cause their views may be re­ac­tionary or ill-in­formed,” he said.

“We com­mend and cel­e­brate a life lived in the ser­vice of oth­ers,” Ramaphosa said.

He said the na­tion owed Msi­mang’s fam­ily a great debt of grat­i­tude.

Minister in the Pres­i­dency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said Msi­mang was among the ANC’s best prod­ucts.

She de­scribed him as a “coun­sel­lor, uni­fier and guide to all of us”.

Ac­cord­ing to Dlamini Zuma, Msi­mang taught ANC cadres the love of ed­u­ca­tion.

“I owe my qual­i­fi­ca­tion as a doctor to him,” she said.

Dlamini Zuma called on South Africans to live by the prin­ci­ples he lived on – “eth­i­cal, lov­ing, uni­fy­ing and coun­selling”.

Msi­mang, Dlamini Zuma con­tin­ued, never gave up on the ANC.

“Un­cle Mendi was a beau­ti­ful hu­man be­ing.

“We bask in the glory of the work you have done,” she said.

SA Na­tional De­fence Force chap­lain-gen­eral Mon­wabisi Ja­mangile told mourn­ers Msi­mang was the ul­ti­mate mea­sure of a man and an agent of change.

Msi­mang was cre­mated at the Pretoria West Cre­ma­to­rium af­ter his of­fi­cial funeral.

Msi­mang died at a Pretoria hos­pi­tal on Mon­day, just days be­fore his 90th birth­day, which would have been yes­ter­day.

He served as ANC trea­surer-gen­eral for 10 years be­tween 1997 and 2007 and left the party with a sur­plus of over R40 mil­lion with as­sets worth R1 bil­lion.

Msi­mang, who was born in Joburg in 1928, joined the ANC at the age of 16 and was a found­ing mem­ber of the party’s youth league in the 1940s.

African News Agency (ANA)

MENDI MSI­MANG was a ‘true gi­ant’ of the Strug­gle who har­boured hope for the ANC and for South Africa. These were the sen­ti­ments of Minister of Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Zweli Mkhize, who spoke at Msi­mang’s funeral in Sil­ver Lakes, Pretoria, yes­ter­day. Msi­mang, a for­mer SA high com­mis­sioner in Lon­don and a for­mer trea­surer-gen­eral of the party, died on Mon­day in his 90th year. |

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