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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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People's servant

By Penwell Dlamini and Rhulani Serithi | Aug 07, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

"I AM just a servant of the people."

"I AM just a servant of the people."

That is how James Percy Morokane sums up his his job as a spin doctor.

Morokane, 40, is the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson, a position he assumed more than a year ago.

But Percy, as he is affectionately known to journalists, has been a spin doctor for a decade.

We meet him at his EMS office in Martindale, Johannesburg, a place where he finds tranquility after an earlier career full of drama involving accidents and crime scenes.

"I always wanted to be involved in communications and journalism, but my father would not let me do that," Morokane said.

He enrolled for a BCom degree at the University of North West in 1987 but had to leave with just a year left to go because of political unrest.

"I was anti-police in the 1980s, but a close friend, Stanley Moagi, convinced me to join the SAPS," he said.

After his friend died in 1991 Morokane went to the police college. He was promoted the following year after completing his training.

While working as a policeman Morokane received a bursary from the Department of Transport to study for a BCom degree in Transport Economics.

After graduating, he worked for the SAPS in Pretoria as a media liaison officer for eight years. He also completed public relations and media studies at the Midrand Graduate Institute, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, and the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Morokane also has a diploma in human resources and is completing a post-graduate diploma in marketing.

"I enjoyed my work at the SAPS because it gave me a chance to rectify the bad publicity that our police had been receiving for years," he said.

Morokane was later approached by EMS to be their spokesperson.

He has flourished in his new job and won the hearts of many a journalist.

Morokane is married with two sons aged 12 and 15.

"My job keeps me away from home, but I keep in touch with my family and they understand what I do."


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