Mendi Msimang a 'true giant', says Zweli Mkhize as mourners lay stalwart to rest

2018-12-08 11:22
The Msimang family, former president Kgalema Motlanthe and President Cyril Ramaphosa at a funeral for ANC struggle stalwart Mendi Msimang in Pretoria. (Presidency, Twitter)

The Msimang family, former president Kgalema Motlanthe and President Cyril Ramaphosa at a funeral for ANC struggle stalwart Mendi Msimang in Pretoria. (Presidency, Twitter)

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Mendi Msimang was a "true giant" of the struggle who harboured hope for the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa.

These were the sentiments of senior ANC member and Minister of Cooperative and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Zweli Mkhize, who spoke at Msimang's funeral in Silver Lakes, Pretoria on Saturday.

Msimang - a former ANC high commissioner in England and treasurer general (TG) - died on Monday at the age of 78. President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to deliver the eulogy later on Saturday.

"We have been saddened to receive the sad news about Baba Msimang’s passing on. Having been aware that he was battling ill health, we always harboured a hope that Thabizolo would return to good health," Mkhize said.

"We now dip our banners in awe as we acknowledge that Mendi Msimang, the Great one, has taken his final rest. A true giant of our struggle has moved on to a better world."

Mkhize said Msimang was a "warm, loving and generous father".

Msimang's departure is the end of an era, he said.

"He is part of the calibre of leaders that have brought us our freedom and democracy. Thabizolo was highly revered as a person and as a leader who dedicated his entire life in the struggle for the creation of a new order."

Mkhize was all praise for the professional work ethic of Msimang.

READ: Former ANC treasurer general has died

"To this day we still called him the treasurer general for his superb fundraising and financial management skills and most of all the dignity and integrity with which he managed such a delicate office."

Left millions in the ANC bank

Mkhize, a former treasurer general of the ANC himself, said that despite the daily burdens of the portfolio, Msimang always managed to keep calm and sport his signature smile.

"He was always measured in his words but never lost a need to exert firmness and discipline in his soft voice. He was always cheerful and related equally with all stations in society. During all this, the greatness of the man was never missed." 

He said Msimang's shoes were difficult to fill.

"For many years to come the systems he laid to create a modern finance and fundraising structure will benefit the ANC for many TGs to follow."

He said that by the time Msimang left office, the ANC had a surplus of R47m and assets north of R1bn.

"He was a father we could relate to for the ease with which he mentored us and gave advice. His love for his work surpassed all, a trait that remained visible now as it has been in the history of the ANC."

Read more on:    anc  |  mendi msimang  |  zweli mkhize  |  funeral
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