24/07/2017 13:02 SAST | Updated 24/07/2017 13:02 SAST

Some Of The Most Touching Journalists' Tributes To Ronnie Mamoepa

"A great government communicator, gentleman and kind soul."

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Tributes have been pouring in for government communicator Ronnie Mamoepa from jounalists who have praised him for his great work and professionalism. Mamoepa passed away in Pretoria on Saturday night at the age of 56. He was taken to hospital last month after suffering from a stroke.

Mamoepa was a former political prisoner and member of the Gauteng provincial legislature. He was a highly regarded and accomplished public servant, and veteran communicator who served the African National Congress and various departments in government.

He was imprisoned for five years on Robben Island for his activism against the apartheid government. In the 1980s, Mamoepa was amongst leaders of defiant activists who was part of resistance and violent demonstrations in many parts of South Africa. In his latest role, since 2014, Mamoepa served as spokesperson for the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

eNCA reporter Anika Larson described Mamoepa as "a great government communicator, gentleman and kind soul".

The South African Editor's Forum (SANEF) also tweeted about him, saying he "was the ultimate professional and always media friendly." SANEF goes on to send its' condolences to his family.

In a joint statement with President Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa said: "This is a great loss to me personally, to The Presidency and government at large".

He adds: "However, our thoughts are firstly and foremost with Ronnie's wife, Audrey, his children and his siblings. I offer my sincere condolences to Ronnie's relatives, friends, comrades and colleagues who have suffered the loss of someone who was much loved and respected across our country and beyond. We shall miss him greatly."