Msimang was an envoy of freedom – Ramaphosa
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.
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. |