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President Ramaphosa pays tribute to the late Dr Sam Motsuenyane

President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the passing of black-business pioneer and co-founder of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC) Dr Sam Motsuenyane at the age of 97.

President Ramaphosa offers his condolences and those of government to the family, friends and associates of the veteran visionary business leader, farmer and philanthropist.

Dr Motsuenyane was also an Esteemed Member of the National Order of the Baobab (Gold) in recognition of his significant personal achievements – which included leading the establishment of African Bank – and the inspiration and leadership he provided in fostering the development of black-owned businesses and economic liberation more broadly.

He served as a Member of Parliament and as South Africa’s first ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

President Ramaphosa said: “The passing of Dr Sam Motsuenyane 60 years after the establishment of NAFCOC is a profound reminder of the breadth, durability and longevity of his vision and passion for self-reliance and development.

“The remarkable sweep of his life as an entrepreneur, leader of organised business, parliamentarian and diplomat among other roles embodied our resilient national character and values of ubuntu.

“His philosophy of self-sufficiency is today entrenched in the constitutional right each of us enjoys to freely choose our trade, occupation or profession and in the socio-economic rights that our constitution safeguards.

“Dr Motsuenyane’s passing on the eve of the 2024 National Orders Ceremony causes us to recall the honour bestowed on him in 2002 as the nation paid tribute to an outstanding patriot and source of inspiration for our then fledgling democracy.

“May his soul rest in peace.”

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President –

Issued by: The Presidency

 Union Building