Address by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) at the Funeral Service of Mr Ntopile “Prof” Kganyago held at the Seshego Stadium, Seshego, Limpopo on Saturday, 27 July 2013
The Kganyago family; in particular his wife and children
UDM NEC Members,
Provincial Executive Members of the UDM in Limpopo,
Presidents of the UDM Youth Vanguard and Women’s Organisation
Members and Parliament and Provincial Legislatures
Leaders and representatives of political parties,
Ladies and gentlemen,
WHY WE CALLED HIM “PROF”
I have yet to come across a person who knew Mr Ntopile Kganyago as anything else but “Prof”. He sometimes said it caused him embarrassment because he was not a “professor”. He was however, widely regarded as a pedagogue (a teacher or professor in other words) and that is why the name stuck.
In the UDM, we knew him by no other name; he was just that; our teacher; our “Prof” and like all true pedagogues, he was the eternal student; he always asked questions until he was sure that he was on top of a discussion.
WHAT NTOPILE KGANYAGO DID FOR UDM
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are paying our last respects to a pioneer that helped establish the UDM. This he did at a time when the political situation was volatile and it was considered a taboo to form and join a new political party in South Africa. Prof took this risk despite the notoriety of the UDM for its strong stance against corruption.
We commend him for the conscious decision he took to help establish and join a party that advocates for adherence to the principles and ethics of good governance in both the public and private sectors.
His academic qualifications would have guaranteed him senior positions of leadership in society, but Prof chose to invest his time, effort and expertise towards making the UDM project a success.
Prof, we salute you for your courage and commitment!
South Africa needs more people of Prof’s calibre to continue where he left of in the fight against corruption; people to help develop and entrench a culture of selfless service in the public sector.
Most people laughed at Prof and the UDM Limpopo Provincial leadership when they were batting on the wicket of anti-corruption. However, today even some of the doubting Thomases admit that Prof and his crew have been vindicated on most, if not all, the acts of corruption they were trying to expose.
Prof was a humble man. In 2004, when former President Thabo Mbeki chose him to serve as Deputy Minister of Public Works, I phoned him to break the news, he, inquisitive as always, asked what it meant to be a minister [ad lib]. Prof said at the time that he could not believe the trust placed in him.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, where Prof so diligently served, has lost an important voice which gave intellectual impetus to their work.
He also led the UDM team in our discussions with other political parties around the possibility of co-operation during the 2014 National and Provincial Elections.
South Africans are keenly aware that we are witnessing a deviation from the original agenda; with the backlogs and imbalances of the past accumulating.
Prof’s departure has left a void and we have to go out and bolster the UDM’s machinery in Limpopo. We have to work harder than ever before and pull together to fulfil Prof’s mission to fight the scourge of corruption, poverty, inequality, the lack of education and joblessness. Let us not disappoint him.
WHAT WE, AT THE UDM, WILL REMEMBER ABOUT PROF
Prof had an excellent sense of humour and he loved to tell stories. The thing about this custom was that he always tried to teach a lesson, or make you understand, using his natural style.
He enjoyed laughing and we will miss his expression of spontaneous and boisterous joy.
Prof was, and always will be, universally loved by each member of the UDM. We acknowledge the role he played in this Party and the manner in which he touched so many lives during his time on earth. He is now with our Heavenly Father, and we say: “Thank you Prof, you have worked hard, it is time to rest”.
VOTE OF THANKS
To the UDM members and supporters who have attended both Thursday’s memorial service and those here today, thank you for showing that we appreciate Prof’s contribution to our Party.
To each person here today, thank you for honouring his memory. The fact that so many people put aside their busy lives to mourn with us, is a testimony to Ntopile Kganyago’s character and the impact he had on our lives.
We say: thank you Prof for your example, your time,
your dedication and loyalty, your enthusiasm, your sense of humour, the lessons you taught and, your stories.
We will sorely miss you.
To Prof’s family, thank you for sharing him with us, it was not always an easy road, but you never shirked in your support of him. Thank you for sustaining him whilst he was sustaining us.
Phumla ngoxolo. Robela ka Kgotso