News24.com | ‘The epitome of servant leadership’ — Moving tributes paid as late Johannesburg mayor laid to rest
Scores gathered at the San Kopano Community Hall in Alexandra, Joburg pay tribute to the late former Mayor of Joburg Mpho Moerane during a memorial service. Photo by Christopher Moagi
- Former Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane’s death has been described as a great loss to impoverished communities whom he prioritised above all else.
- Moerane was laid to rest in Alexandra township in Johannesburg.
- Despite his passing, as someone who was expected to contest the ANC Johannesburg region chairperson position this week, the conference is still set to go ahead.
Impoverished communities have been left poorer following the passing of former Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane, “… who placed their needs about all else”.
This was the moving farewell given by ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and party treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, who led the party’s tribute at Moerane’s funeral service.
Ramaphosa described Moerane as, “… the epitome of servant leadership”.
He said while the party was undergoing its current revamp and returning to placing the needs of the people above all else, there were some shortcomings towards attaining this.
But he said Moerane was one of those who have modelled the type of leader the ANC needed.
Mpho Moerane plants trees at a community park in Orange Farm.
Mashatile echoed similar sentiments saying, “Our brother Mpho is no more. We still can’t believe that we now have to speak of him in the past tense. We are poorer without him, in particular the communities he placed above all else.
“In comrade Mpho, we saw some of the finest qualities we have come to expect in an ANC member.
“He was full of life, love, and gave generously to those who are underprivileged. His struggle to assist our people was not limited to the boardroom, but he went to the ground [sic] and was in the forefront of pickets raising issues affecting communities and also [took part] in clean-up projects,” said Mashatile.
The ANC treasurer also added that Moerane never sought personal glory, but believed in collective achievements.
“We will miss his generosity of heart and positiveness even in the face of adversity. In his memory, let’s, therefore, put aside factional differences and instead focus on assisting communities as was his goal,” said Mashatile.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura also described Moerane as, “… a practical man driven by love for others who wanted problems to be solved and progress to be made for the people”.
Moving tribute by his wife
Moerane’s wife, Fikile, paid a touching tribute to her husband.
Speaking through a friend, Dorriane Sithole, Fikile reminisced about the great times they shared and the acts of service.
I believe in ’till death do us part’ but I did not expect it to be so soon. You were my rock… our together has been so viciously stolen from us. I thank God for loving me so much, and I’m eternally grateful for the time I spent with you.
Moerane, who was the ANC caucus leader in the City of Johannesburg council, a position he held since 2021, succumbed earlier this week to injuries he sustained in a car accident.
He was expected to go against current regional secretary and close friend Dada Morero for the position of the ANC Johannesburg regional chairperson.
Regional Conference set to go-ahead
Despite the passing of one of the contestants, the ANC’s greater Johannesburg region said it was still set to forge ahead with its elective conference on Friday.
This was confirmed by the spokesperson of the Johannesburg Region, Sasabona Manganye, on Sunday.
Manganye said, “So far, the conference was postponed to 27 May, and there is not any other determination that had been made except that one.”
He added that the conference was set to go ahead as it stands.
Manganye also clarified that while Moerane could no longer stand against Morero, there was still an opportunity for delegates to elect someone or numerous individuals from the floor of the venue to also contest any of the five available regional leadership positions.
The conference is set to take place at the Cedar Woods Hotel, Woodmead, Johannesburg, from 27 to 29 May.
“Definitely, Moerane’s passing does impact on the regional conference from the point of view that he was contesting the position of regional chairperson; however, that does not mean it necessarily ended there [in terms of nominees] the nomination was for the purposes of branches expressing their interest in whom they want to lead and in which position.
“When you get to the conference itself, delegates will also have an opportunity to determine whether they want to nominate other people in addition to those that were nominated in branches or not. You also have that kind of a nomination process that will be allowed,” said Manganye.
Almost two weeks ago, Moerane, who is said to have been alone at the time driving along Bowling Avenue on his way back home in Bryanston, hit a rock and fell into a coma.
He was born in the Alexandra township.
Moerane started his career as an electrician at Eskom before he ventured into the policy and business sector.
He served on several boards as an executive, including Metro Bus, Alexandra Clinic, and Chancellor House Holdings.