Gone too soon Marius – We will miss you

Dear Dr Marius;

I got to know you as a strong thought leader and a passionate person about Human Resources but mostly that you loved life. You enjoyed seeing others grow and flourish, you loved it when organisations achieved economic prosperity through sound governance and ethics because you also held a high moral ground in all you did. The years long nights, years and decades that you sacrificed for SABPP and the HR community as whole have yielded many results that will be appreciated by generations to come. You have been a source of inspiration to many professionals in this pace, including me…. You are the face of SABPP – I joined because I aspired to have an unshaken but yet humble calibre as you; and I know I am not the only one. For that thank you Marius.

We will miss your loud laughter (a true epitome of LOL), we will miss your unwavering stern voice on standards, professionalism and ethical voice. Your ability to bring people together is unrivalled, your passion for our members and lastly your love for your Country. 

On Sunday the 24th of January  at 16:53 when you wrote me a Whattsapp that read “James, hope you are well. My health is so bad that I am going to resign as Chair. I have asked Xolani to check the process of replacing me. Please help them where you can. I need to refocus on self-care first. You guys are great to take things forward. Will send a message to whole board. Take care.” When I read this message, I was absolutely shocked, and knowing the Marius I know, then it might be serious… I shortly responded: “Oh No Marius, this is not good news…. Are you OK? Let me know when you can take a call. I did not think it will be this serious. Please get well soon. We will do our best to ensure that you are not stressed out by Board matters, please take care.” If I knew that this was the last conversation I had with you, I would have called, flew down to Cape Town and bid you farewell, but you did not offer us that opportunity. But only the heavens know and we trust that you are at peace now. We release you with open hearts, and our lives a better because you contributed to all of us, Baie Dankie vir alles, nou jy kan rus Meyer.

To Hanlie and Nadia, thank you for borrowing your husband and father, rest assured that he made a mark in South Africa and abroad through his work. May you and the rest of the family find comfort in the great memories you hold with him, and I pray that his passing bring you all even closer as a family. 

With deepest sympathy

James   Ramakau