'Soft-spoken' govt communicator Thabo Masebe lauded for decades of service

Thabo Masebe, pictured in 2022.
Thabo Masebe, pictured in 2022.
Alfonso Nqunjana, News24
  • Acting director-general in the Gauteng premier's office Thabo Masebe died on Monday. 
  • Masebe has been remembered for his soft-spoken nature and dedication to public service. 
  • He also served as a spokesperson for former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe. 

Political parties and government departments have remembered Thabo Masebe, the late acting director-general in the Gauteng premier’s office, as a public servant who served with pride and grace.

Masebe’s death was announced on Monday night.

He had been serving as the acting director-general in Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office, but his government work spans decades.

Masebe also served as a spokesperson to former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Government Communication and Information Systems Director-General Phumla Williams said Masebe had been dedicated to serving South Africa.

"Masebe was known for his commitment and dedication to serving the people of South Africa. His passing is a great loss to the public service. He served with distinction and courage and often went beyond the call of duty," she said, adding:

He was an accomplished, multi-talented, and resourceful public servant who was well known for his integrity. As communicators in the public service, we will remember and action the many lessons we have learnt from Thabo. We pray for strength for his family and friends.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications chairperson Boyce Maneli said the country had lost a man of service.

READ | Gauteng government's acting DG, Thabo Masebe, dies

The IFP in Gauteng said Masebe would be remembered for his rich knowledge and eagerness to share his wisdom.

"Masebe had a refreshing candour about him and was always generous in sharing his wealth of knowledge about government communications. He remained ever humble and never took sides: he was always on the side of what was right for the people.

"He truly embodied the 'batho pele' principles. His legacy is one of diligent professionalism, ethical conduct, and brilliant communication skills, as he always sought to minimise the information gaps between the executive and the people," the IFP said.

The ANC caucus in the Gauteng legislature said Masebe had performed the "art of communication" with perfection in a soft-spoken manner.

"He carried assignments given to him during his deployments by his organisation, the ANC, with dedication and unquestionable commitment. His work ethic and discipline gave practical meaning to meritocracy," it said

Makhura described Masebe as ethical, with a selfless spirit of activisim. 

Masebe's family said a memorial service would be held on Thursday. 

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