Mamoepa hailed as a ‘vociferous and unflinching anti-apartheid campaigner’

23 July 2017 - 16:05
By Timeslive
Ronnie Mamoepa and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS Ronnie Mamoepa and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Parliament’s presiding officers have paid tribute to veteran government spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa‚ hailing him as a ‘vociferous and unflinching anti-apartheid campaigner’ and consummate professional who was always prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Mamoepa died on Saturday at the age of 56 after battling from complications from a stroke he suffered last month.

In a statement‚ Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise‚ on behalf of Parliament‚ said Mamoepa was a loyal servant of the people and an activist who dedicated most of his life to fighting against the unjust system of apartheid and for the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of South Africans.

“A vociferous and unflinching anti-apartheid campaigner and underground African National Congress (ANC) activist‚ Mamoepa was a thorn in the side of the repressive regime‚ whose response was to jail and persecute him in its futile attempt to silence him. He was jailed on Robben Island for five years‚ alongside other fearless freedom fighters the regime sought to neutralise and crush.

“As a youth congress activist in the 1980s‚ Mamoepa was amongst leaders of brave and defiant activists who engaged in resistance and violent demonstrations in many parts of South Africa‚ including in the peri-urban township of Pretoria where he lived. The response of the regime was to declare the state of emergency‚ resulting in him and his comrades being jailed for a long period of time‚” the statement read.

It added: “A brilliant political mind‚ organic intellectual and quintessential soul‚ Mamoepa was respected by his generation of struggle activists as an erudite teacher of dialectical materialism and socialist economy.

"He was admired for his tremendously unique photographic memory‚ which was pivotal in the execution of the clandestine‚ underground anti apartheid operations on behalf of the ANC.

“As a public servant‚ Mamoepa was a consummate professional - extremely humble‚ selfless‚ patient‚ passionate and always willing and ready to go above and beyond the call of duty.

“The loss‚ so soon‚ of such a true people's servant‚ a faithful‚ fearless and uncompromising activist for social justice‚ equality and fairness is devastating.”