Former ANC treasurer general Mendi Msimang came from a generation of freedom fighters whose deeds will reverberate across the ages, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday."Certainly, most of the members of that generation may have exited the political stage, but the principles they fought for, the values they lived by and the means by which they sought their objectives still find resonance at this moment in our history."Ramaphosa was speaking at the funeral of the ANC stalwart in Silver Lakes, Pretoria. He said that Msimang showed a sterling record in his decade long leadership of the purse strings in the ruling party. "In that time, he was scrupulous in his determination that not one cent go missing, that no resources meant for the transformational programmes of the organisation be misappropriated or wasted. It is this quality that we seek in our leaders today."As the chief representative of the ANC in the United Kingdom, he was a dedicated and capable advocate for South Africa, Ramaphosa said. "Especially when faced with hostile opinion, he sought – patiently and with deliberate care – to explain the positions of the African National Congress."He said Msimang did not dismiss others because their views may be reactionary or ill-informed.Msimang was driven by a firm conviction that every person has the capacity to do good, to see sense, to make a meaningful contribution to society, the president said."He had a remarkable ability to see beyond their prejudice, their anger, their frailties and to recognise their essential being. For that, he was much loved and widely admired."How to hold political officeSpeaking politics, Ramaphosa said there were enticements in political office that Msimang's generation did not adhere to. "The material temptations of political office have never been greater than they are today. As our people have realised, and as our movement has acknowledged, there are those among us who seek positions of authority not to serve the public good, but to advance private interests."He said there were people who were "prepared to undermine the institutions of our young democracy, to subvert the rule of law and to steal from the people to enrich themselves"."This cannot be countenanced, and this cannot be allowed to continue. It is at precisely this moment that we need leaders, cadres, public servants and business people of the calibre of Mendi Msimang."He added that Msimang argued with "great eloquence and conviction". "He was a person of great modesty and dignity. He treated others with respect, was moderate in demeanour and measured in his address. These may be commendable personality traits, but they are also profoundly political."