Pretoria - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has expressed shock and sadness at the death of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa and conveyed her condolences to Mamoepa's wife, family, friends, and colleagues.
“I fondly remember Ronnie as a very capable and professional head of communications at home affairs department; we worked closely together drawing on his ideas for broadening communications and serving the public,” she said on Sunday.
“His stories of life as an activist and his experience as a cadre in prison kept us entranced for hours; we dip our heads in sadness at this loss of another great South African. May his soul rest in peace,” Pandor said.
Earlier, Mamoepa family spokesperson Groovin Nchabeleng said it was with profound sadness that the Mamoepa family announced the death of their beloved son Ronnie Mamoepa, at the age of 56.
“Ronnie passed on in the late evening [Saturday] at a hospital in Pretoria after battling complications arising from a stroke he suffered last month. He was receiving the highest medical care."
“Ronnie Mamoepa is an icon of the country’s liberation struggle having served five years of his youth in incarceration at the infamous Robben Island prison in Cape Town,” he said.
“At the attainment of liberation in 1994, Ronnie joined government and served his country with distinction as a communications practitioner. His extensive experience included African National Congress communications and various communications roles in government, notably the presidency, the department of foreign affairs, and the department of home affairs. Details of funeral arrangements will be released in due course,” Nchabeleng said.
Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma both also expressed sadness at Mamoepa’s death and conveyed their sincere condolences to Mamoepa’s immediate and extended family, comrades, friends, and colleagues.
In his latest role, since 2014, Mamoepa served as spokesperson for Ramaphosa. “This is a great loss to me personally, to the presidency, and government at large,” Ramaphosa said.
“However, our thoughts are firstly and foremost with Ronnie’s wife, Audrey, his children, and his siblings. I offer my sincere condolences to Ronnie’s relatives, friends, comrades, and colleagues who have suffered the loss of someone who was much loved and respected across our country and beyond. We shall miss him greatly,” he said.