_: The Black Management Forum (BMF) recognition award bestowed on Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati was deserved and not misplaced because despite being one of the leaders of the historic August 9 1956 women’s march to the union building, she had mothered many Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) boys and girls in exile and taught women to be women, North West Premier Thandi Modise said in Mahikeng on Friday evening.
In her keynote address delivered at the gala dinner hosted in honour of Mama Ruta as the ANC Stalwart and struggle icon is affectionately known, Premier Modise described Dr Mompati as a gallant fighter, a pathfinder who had groomed her and taught her and many others that everything they know about honouring principle even at the pain of death and to always speak truth.
“Mama Ruta showed courage, character and visionary leadership in the struggle against apartheid and taught me to take punches with dignity and a smile. Though she has served people who have given her nothing back but ingratitude, she has nonetheless taught us to love our people and to always remember that it is better to give than to receive,” said Premier Modise is a passionate tribute.
Modise recounted the invaluable contribution that Mompati made in the talks about talks that led to the historic CODESA negotiation process, her role as a diplomat in Switzerland and Mayor of Naledi Local Municipality.
Modise called on women to take cue from Mompati’s selfless contribution, to be more assertive and to stop being complacent in order to build a country in which politics have no colour. She appealed to women in the province to build on the foundation laid by Mama Ruta to be exporters of reconciliation, peace and development.
In her acceptance speech Dr Mompati thanked the Premier for correctly speaking about the history of South Africa and underscoring the essence of the struggle.
“It was a pleasure listening to the premier speaking, not because she spoke about me, but because she spoke on the history of this country. The continuation of what you have been doing since you became premier or since you became Umkhonto We Sizwe. In the struggle we realised that there were no black or white but people of South Africa. It was not important that you were black or white. What was important was your contribution,” said the elated Dr Mompati who appreciated that the awards evening was not a black affair but brought together people of all races.
Nela Mojanaga Provincial Chairperson of BMF said that her organisation’s decision to confer the award on Dr Mompati was inspired by her visionary and principled leadership and the role she had played in the liberation struggle and her contribution towards establishing democratic governance and municipalities in the North West establishing democratic governance and municipalities in the North West.
Mama Mompati was involved in the Defiance Campaign in 1952, was a founder member of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in 1954 and member of Umkhonto We Sizwe Luthuli Detachment.
She received also the Platinum Class III medal for leadership from President Jacob Zuma at the South African Military Veterans Medals Parade held on 2 August 2012.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele, Spokesperson
Tel: 018 388 3705
Cell: 083 629 1987
Fax: 018 388 3157