The South African wine industry is deeply saddened by the passing of Mzukisi Norman Mooi, chairperson of WIETA (Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association). Mzukisi passed away from Covid-19 on Sunday evening, 12 September 2021, at the age of 58.
A skilled development, education and training practitioner, Mzukisi had a passion for people in the wine and agricultural sectors and played an integral role in enhancing adult education, community development and conflict resolution among individuals and stakeholder groups in rural areas. He was an avid social justice and human rights activist, always striving to challenge existing social and economic inequalities by fostering peace and social cohesion.
After growing up in the Eastern Cape and matriculating from Thembalabantu High School in Zwelitsha, King Williams Town, he went on to study in Cape Town, obtaining a post-graduate degree in community development. He was also an accredited mediator with the Mediation-in-Motion institution and an Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (IMSSA) training and mediation panellist, focusing on Community Conflict Resolution (CCR).
Mzukisi served on the WIETA board from 2006, the accreditation committee from 2009 and as the chairperson from 2008 until his passing. During this time, he provided crucial guidance and support on various projects, including supervisors’ training on discrimination, the development of WIETA’s farmworker guidance booklets and pesticides campaign, as well as imbizos with farmworkers to raise awareness of the WIETA code and the principles of freedom of association. He also connected with civil society and labour on various ethical trade and social justice issues, and was especially instrumental in engaging with international wine buyers and labour movements and NGO’s on the conditions of farmworkers in the Western Cape.
More recently Mzukisi was a consultant with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) tasked with the promotion of social dialogue in the agriculture sector of the Western Cape Province – specifically leading discussions between producers, civil society, civic groups and labour in regions such as De Doorns, Grabouw, Robertson and Riebeek West.
“Mzukisi Mooi was a humble and caring leader with a strong belief in the value of reconciliation through open and honest dialogue,” says Vinpro MD Rico Basson.
“He played a vital role as chairperson of WIETA to not only lead with wisdom, but also provide context and clear strategic direction to the board and various stakeholders. He made a significant contribution to the wine and broader agricultural sector and his passing leaves an empty space in the lives of everyone that he engaged with. Our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Ndimi, his children, family and colleagues during this time of sorrow.”
“Mzukisi will truly be missed,” says Christo Conradie, wine business manager at Vinpro, who also served on the WIETA board with Mzukisi. “I have the utmost respect for the way in which he was able to facilitate social dialogue, often under challenging circumstances by, in his calm and collected way giving all parties an opportunity to state their point of view and share his own perspective while always treating everyone with dignity and fairness.”
“He was really the epitome of an honest broker,” says Christo Conradie, Vinpro wine business manager.
Issued by: Vinpro
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