President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the late former Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane who passed away last week as an exemplary leader who exuded passion and commitment.
Moerane was buried over the weekend after he succumbed to injuries he sustained in a car crash two weeks ago.
At his funeral, the President delivered the eulogy in which he praised Moerane’s commitment to the people of Johannesburg and its council.
“He loved this city and its people. I got to see, feel and touch the passion he had for this city as I worked with him for a few day last year, when I joined him in the campaign for the local government elections.
“He exuded total passion and commitment to addressing the needs of the people of Johannesburg. He was a compassionate and informed leader. I was impressed with the way he knew his city,” he said.
The President added that Moerane always showed humility even in the face of difficult discussions with community members.
“Where our people were angry because of service delivery challenges such as electricity, he was a peace-maker and a bridge-builder.
“I got to see what an influential leader he was as he interacted with our people in our many townships in Johannesburg, but in all his dealings with our people, he was humble. He was respectful of our people, and in turn earned their respect. He was an honest leader,” President Ramaphosa said.
Furthermore, the President hailed Moerane for embodying the spirit of government’s ‘Thuma Mina’ leadership campaign.
“We always speak highly of servant leadership. We extoll its virtues on public platforms. We put the words ‘Thuma Mina, Send Me’ in our policy documents and on our official banners, and use them to round off our speeches to the people. And yet, there is sometimes a gap between what we profess and what we do.
“Comrade Mpho Moerane was the model of a servant leader. He didn’t cling to the mayoral chain and cause chaos in the chamber. He deferred to the will of the electorate, to the instructions of the leadership of the province, presiding over a smooth handover and transition, and returned to work as leader of the ANC caucus,” President Ramaphosa said.
Reflecting on Moerane’s work as a Councillor and Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, the President said granting Moerane a civic funeral is an honour he deserved.
“In according him this type of funeral… we are honoring his contribution to the City of Johannesburg and its people. The cruel hand of fate deprived him of many more years with his family and friends.
“It has deprived his country of many more years of service, but even in the short time he served, he left his mark. In [his role as mayor], he did all he could to ensure the council was run in a spirit of cooperation and that all views would be respected,” he said.
The President said Moerane’s leadership should be an example for all civil servants and those serving the country in other ways.
“Even as we celebrate his life today we still feel that we were robbed of the best that Mpho was bound to offer this country as a leader, a servant of our people. In his memory let us bring the culture of servant leadership back into our politics, back into our government and back into our society. We need it now more than ever,” President Ramaphosa said.