[WATCH LIVE] Ronnie Mamoepa remembered at memorial service

Mamoepa passed away at a Pretoria hospital over the weekend after suffering a stroke at the age of 56.

A picture of late goverment spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa during a memorial service in Pretoria on 26 July, 2017. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Government communicator Ronnie Mamoepa is being remembered by his colleagues on Wednesday morning at a memorial service in Pretoria.

Mamoepa passed away at a Pretoria hospital over the weekend after suffering a stroke at the age of 56.

He was one of the first members of the Gauteng Legislature after apartheid.

Legislature Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe said, “We’re really saddened by his departure and I think we still needed him to actually play that particular role.”

President Jacob Zuma has declared a special provincial official funeral for the late spokesperson and has also ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast across the province on Saturday.

Zuma's spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said: “The President said the country has lost one of its most outstanding communicators of the work of the government and a renowned mediator of information between government and the communities that government serves through the media.”

WATCH: Ronnie Mamoepa's memorial service

Last week, opposition parties paid tribute to the well-respected government spokesperson.

Mamoepa spent five years on Robben Island during the 1980’s and served in the African National Congress and various departments in government.

At the time of his death, he was deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson.

Congress of the People’s Mosiuoa Lekota said: “He was serious minded. He studied and learned. And when we came out of jail he continued to excel. He’s been an excellent example of how adversity can be turned into an advantage.”

The Democratic Alliance's Refiloe Ntsekhe said Mamoepa stood for excellence.

“It’s saddening for us and we particularly want to send condolences to his family and loved ones. He was one of those people that actually stood for excellence in South Africa.”

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)