Ernest Mokganedi, the South Africa's Director of Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the Department of Environmental Affairs, was tragically killed late last month in a motorcycle accident in Magalies, northwest of Johannesburg.
South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr. Edna Molewa, said in a statement that “Mr. Mokganedi was instrumental in establishing, managing and extending the Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) in Southern Africa, having grown this network of conservation areas from a concept to the successful reality it is today.”
She added: “His role and commitment to ensuring that all the countries linked through the TFCAs in Southern Africa benefited from these areas is going to be sorely missed.”
Mokganedi, who was 48 when he died in the accident on July 28, was a member of the Tshwane Legends Bikers Club. That group had been on a year-long campaign to promote unity between motorcyclists in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
"He was a visionary man, who believed that building bridges between nations throughout Africa was an essential ingredient for the future success of our continent, its people and wildlife," noted Werner Myburgh, Chief Executive Officer, Peace Parks Foundation. "Ernest was at his best when working with complex issues and always remained true to his core values of respect towards his fellow human beings irrespective of their sex, race, politics, nationality, culture or status. He was a true pioneer with a deep rooted belief in making a difference and more importantly making this world a better place."
Myburgh added: "Ernest, we salute you and cherish every day we had the privilege to be able to work with you and share in your friendship and wise council. There is still so much to be done and we will sorely miss you on this journey that we embarked on together. May you rest in peace and be assured that your legacy will be carried forward."
The Salzburg Global Seminar -- an organization in which Mokganedi was a fellow -- also mourned the late leader, hailing him as "a transboundary conservation champion."