Journalists described Ronnie Mamoepa, former spokesperson to then deputy president of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, as dedicated and someone who fostered a cordial working relationship between the media and government.
Speaking on Friday in Pretoria at the plaque unveiling and official naming of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) press room after Mamoepa who died in 2017, representative from the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) Reggie Moalusi said Mamoepa was always available for the media and was always patient enough to those who understood little.
“When it came to working and knowing the media, he was good and understood how the media worked, based on this knowledge and understanding,” Moalusi said.
Members of the Mamoepa family, his foundation, the media and government officials attended the event.
Mamoepa was one of the youngest political prisoners on Robben Island in the early 1980s. He died on 22 July 2017, having been in a coma following a stroke.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who unveiled the plaque in his memory, said: “Comrade Ronnie respected everybody, young and old. He respected journalists as well, because he knew that journalists are also human beings. He honoured every appointment he made with journalists.”
The event was attended by Mamoepa’s family and government officials, including newly appointed Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi.
In May, during Mamoepa’s tombstone unveiling, Ramaphosa announced that the GCIS would partner with the newly-established Ronnie Mamoepa Foundation to promote and reward excellence in government communications.
“The foundation will offer, among other incentives, international scholarships. It will also initiate a scholarship for Master’s level research that will be awarded to students of communications,” Ramaphosa said at the time.
– African News Agency