Our province and country mourns the death of an exceptional leader, Mme Ruth Segomotsi Mompati who passed on in the early hours of Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at a Military Hospital in Cape Town. Mme Ruth Segomotsi Mompati was one of that special generation, a towering cadre whose life and conduct remained true to the values of our movement, the ANC until her last day.
Comrade Ruth Mompati was born in a small village of Tlapeng not far from Vryburg, on 14 September 1925. She started working as a teacher in the area in 1944 but her teaching career was curtailed in 1952 when she got married and had her employment terminated under apartheid laws.
She later relocated to Soweto where she worked as a typist for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo at their law firm and became an active member of the ANC. During this period, she became a member of the ANC Women’s League National Executive Committee, became involved in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and helped form the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw).
She was among the organisers of the historic women’s anti-pass law march to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, alongside Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Gertrude Shope.
She served her country and people with selflessness, dedication and humility for over 60 years. She was the embodiment of perfect wisdom, guiding and nurturing many in Umkhonto We Sizwe who today have scaled the pedestals of leadership.
Her career in the public service and in political office includes exile in the 1960’s, military training in the Soviet Union, ANC representative roles in Europe and on the African continent, including in Tanzania and Zambia,
From humble beginnings of a typist at Mandela Tambo Attorneys, she rose to the ranks of leader of the anti-pass law march on 9 August 1956 and a negotiator at the Groote Schuur talks in 1990, Member of Parliament in 1994, Ambassador in Switzerland and later Mayor of Naledi Local Municipality in Vryburg where she lived until her passing.
Her warmth, generosity and humility were the hallmarks of a mother who assumed responsibility and parenthood for many who were in exile, far removed from the comfort of their families. Her calm demeanour, love for her people and the country, her selfless service to peace and unity endeared her to many both in the ANC and beyond.
She shaped a generation of activists and soldiers and imbued them with the values she cherished deeply. She valued the unity of her movement and always urged all to serve the people with dignity and grace. We have lost a mother, a guardian, a soldier a teacher and a great but humble leader of our movement.
Her sterling unblemished service to the movement was recognised in 2013 when President Jacob Zuma bestowed on her the highest available recognition in the ANC of Isithwalandwe. Through this she joined a rich list of struggle luminaries and icons including the late President Nelson Mandela.
On the 10th April 2015 Provincial Government working together with Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and National Government unveiled a sculpture in her honour in Vryburg. One the 26th April 2015, we launched the Liberation Heritage Route project intended to capture and record the contribution of Mme Mompati and many other stalwarts in the liberation of our country.
In the coming days as we continue to celebrate the life of this stalwart we urge that we avoid the temptation of using our advantaged positions of privileges to isolate Mme Mompati from the ordinary masses she lived with. He roots from the humble beginnings in Tlapeng, her commitment to and respect for traditional leadership should reflect in all events organised to pay respects to her.
More than anything, as Government of the North West Provincial, we appeal for solemnity and grace as we mark the week of tributes to this outstanding cadre of our movement, the Isithwalandwe – our beloved leader, mother and grandmother.
SOURCE: South African Official News