Friday, 22 April 2022 16:50

Masebe described as a true patriot and consummate communicator.

Staff Reporter.

The late Acting Director-General of the Gauteng Provincial Government, Thabo Masebe, has been described as a model public servant and a model government communicator.

"We want to celebrate Thabo's wisdom, his calmness, his humble and unassuming soul. Whoever has interacted with Thabo will tell you the kind of person he was. Thabo was the most disciplined public servant, the most dedicated public servant that this country has ever had," said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director General Phumla Williams.

Williams hailed Masebe’s contribution to the public service and described how he helped to shape the direction of government communications.

"He will always be remembered as one of the first communication strategists in government. He was part of the team that shaped the government communication system as we have it today. At the heart of the system, as this democratic government developed, was the fundamental constitutional values of transparency, openness and accountability. And if you were to sum up the kind of communicator Thabo was, he actually embodied these constitutional values, "she said.

This as the GCIS together with the Gauteng Provincial Government and the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) held a memorial service in Masebe's honour on Friday.

The seasoned government communicator passed away on Monday.

Masebe served in several positions in provincial and national government including :

  • Head of communications at Gauteng Provincial Government
  • Spokesperson to former Deputy President Kgalema Motlhanthe
  • GCIS Chief Director of Media Liaison
  • Acting Director General of Gauteng Provincial Government

"He understood the vital role of communications in advancing our democratic gains. He had a deep passion of conveying the government message to the people of South Africa. Thabo took every task that he was given with a seriousness as if he’s fighting a liberation struggle even just in the public service,” Williams said.

Williams further hailed Masebe's role as a government communicator during the Life Esidimeni tragedy in Gauteng.

"Thabo was a human being. Thabo understood that it was the most difficult topic but he didn’t shy away and he spoke with compassion. He understood that those families have gone through a lot so they cannot afford to have a communicator who is arrogant. Those qualities are not qualities you get at university…the humility and compassion is what you get taught at home."

SANEF chairperson Sbu Ngalwa told those gathered at the memorial service of Masebe's open and approachable demeanour towards the media.

"The one thing about him is that he had no airs about him. There was no sense that he was the type to say 'I'm also coming from the trenches'. I think that most people would only find out now that he was the [Treasurer General of the ANC Youth League] and that the people he served with are now serving as Ministers in various roles. The fact that he left active politics to immerse himself in the public service is a testament of his love for his country.

"For us as the media, and on behalf of SANEF, we have lost a friend, we have lost a true patriot, we have lost a committed South African and a committed public servant," he said.