To say that Mautji Pataki is a prominent man of the cloth whose vision is to serve and uplift society and free it from self-serving materialism is an understatement.
A man of many hats, he is among the few public figures in the province who enjoy true international acclaim for his humanitarian achievements the latest being his appointment as an advisor to The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa’s delegation to the 2021 General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) taking place in Germany as well as member of the Eminent Persons Ecumenical Programme on Peace in Africa established by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). The appointment was made two months ago.
Pataki is known to strive for the development of youth and uniting Limpopo through prayer and other productive community services. As founder and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Ethical Foundation for Leadership Excellence he is determined to create a society that is free from corruption and the unethical culture of leadership where unfettered materialism and self-serving tendencies are pursued at the expense of sustainable livelihood.
According to him, this often results in exacerbated levels of poverty, decisions and policies that are unsustainable, short-sighted, unproductive and providing only fleeting comfort and luxuries for the selected few while eroding the prospects of a better life for future generations. Pataki in conversation with Polokwane Observer highlighted the core business of the foundation as being to carry out public benefit activities in the country that are focused on empowering leaders and potential leaders across the strata of society while its core values include accountability, responsibility, unity of purpose, integrity, respect, patriotism and service.
Pataki is mostly known for his persuasive speeches at various provincial government functions and for always being in the forefront when Limpopo gather to fight the scourge of road fatalities, cases of gender-based violence and killings.
He indicated that he has held numerous positions in various Christian movements such as the regional fieldworker – refugee ministries for Northern Transvaal Council of Churches where he was responsible for receiving, registering and coordinating the movements of war refugees fleeing from Mozambique through the then South African border into Gazankulu Homeland Territory, mobilising for humanitarian assistance for refugees, settling disputes and staging interventions between South Africans and people arriving from Mozambique and preparing and submitting regular reports to the South African Council of Churches where he later served as the General Secretary. He was also the coordinator for National Drought Relief Programme and provincial ecumenical secretary for Northern Province Council of Churches. It was learnt that the positions he held in community and government structures include deputy chairperson for Education and Labour Relations Council, member of Education Bursary Council, member of the Bursary Selection Committee for Department of Education, Chairperson of the Board for Ecumenical Service for Socio-economic Transformation, board member of Limpopo Anti-racist Movement and member of the Limpopo Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Provincial Employment, Development and Growth Plan (PEDGP).
He was the Chairperson for Social Cohesion Task Team for the PEDGP, coordinator of the South African Civil Society Observer Committee for the General Elections, founder and Chairman of the Ethical Foundation for Leadership Excellence, Chairman and co-founder of the Mokebe Cleopas Mminele Trust and former columnist for two newspapers. Pataki ascribes his versatility to the various academic qualifications which include eight Bachelor of Arts degree Courses, Bachelor of Theology, certificates for conflict management, mediation and dispute resolution – training which entails an approach to managing conflict, facilitating mediation and finding solutions to problems using the various models of peace building. He also holds a theological post-academic training certificate. Much of his skills for peace building was acquired through training at the Canadian Mennonite Bible Brethren College during his stay in Winnipeg, Manitoba Province. In addition to all these responsibilities, Pataki is an ordained minister of The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and serves William Mpamba Memorial Congregation.
His hobbies include reading, writing, sport and travelling as he visited countries such as Canada, United States of America and Turkey.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI