KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for the swift arrest of the perpetrators involved in the brutal murder of former Regent and Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature, Zibuse Mlaba.
Mlaba was murdered following a shooting incident in Camperdown last Thursday.
According to a police report, Mlaba was attacked by two gunmen in his office and succumbed to his injuries.
Expressing shock and outrage, Zikalala said Mlaba’s passing marks one of the saddest periods in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Mlaba represents the crop of dedicated leaders, who distinguished himself by addressing the grassroots, and bread and butter issues of the local communities of the Mkhambathini area. Mlaba played a crucial role in quelling tensions at the height of political violence in the province.
“Through his tragic passing, we are again reminded that the spectre of violence persists in our province, and that more efforts need to be dedicated to the eradication of this aspect of our lives. Nothing justifies violence in resolving conflict,” Zikalala said.
Paying tribute to Mlaba, Zikalala said the province has lost one of its foremost pioneers for peace, who did not just usher in peripheral changes but “genuinely made social and political transformation a reality of our democracy”.
“Born into royalty, Mlaba followed the example of his father when he resisted attempts by the apartheid machinery over generations, to politicise the Ximba Chieftaincy, and indeed the institution of traditional leadership in KZN in general.
“In this manner, Mlaba crafted and cemented his legacy as one of the architects who popularised and legitimised the institution of traditional leadership and by so doing, preserved its dignity among all the people of KZN, regardless of political affiliation,” the Premier said.
Zikalala said Mlaba never regarded the opposition as his enemy, but he identified the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality as standing in the way of human dignity for all.
In this regard, he said, Mlaba identified community development as the route through which the lives of citizens could be improved.
“He chose to work with Induna Mdluli of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)-controlled Nyavu to ensure access to clean water and electricity, and external support for development that enabled them to build schools, a community hall and a clinic.
“In Mlaba’s death, we have lost a true visionary, an advocate for democracy, development, peace, human rights and a human being who was prepared to stand for the truth at all costs.
“On behalf of government and people of KwaZulu-Natal, we bow our heads to the quiet revolutionary of our liberation movement, a life-long protector and true leader of the masses, and hero of our struggle for true democracy,” Zikalala said. – SAnews.