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While South Africans celebrated the Easter Weekend with family and friends, the Newcastle community has bid a sad farewell to a true icon.
On Sunday, 4 April 2021, KwaZulu-Natal’s first Premier, Dr Frank Mdlalose, sadly passed away. The former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) National Chairperson reportedly died from COVID-19, seeing his family issuing a heartfelt statement.
His family’s statement reads, “We had a happy life, and our father looked after all of us, and our mother, very well. He was a good father.”
Furthermore, the statement reads that as a family, they are extremely proud of the work he did in the community, in Newcastle, as well as the work he did for the province and the country. They elaborate further by saying, “He worked in the community as a doctor, and as a politician. He was much-loved by all. The pillars of his life were the community, church, and family. It would be impossible to mention all of the many contributions he made during the course of his life.”
While emphasising they would always miss him and the special times they shared together, the family explains that about a month ago, Dr Mdlalose asked everybody to be at home on Saturdays, so they were incredibly blessed to have all been together before his passing.
Amajuba District Mayor, Cllr Dr Musa Ngubane, has extended his condolences to the Mdlalose family. Dr Ngubane has described Dr Mdlalose as a son of the Amajuba District and a true gentleman, who will be remembered for his contribution towards enhancing the lives of the KwaZulu-Natal people and for his involvement in ending the political violence that claimed several lives in the province.
Dr Ngubane highlights Dr Mdlalose continued to change lives even during his retirement, never allowing an opportunity to pass him by in standing up for what he believed in.
Such was the impact he had on our town, province and country as a whole; KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has welcomed the declaration by President Cyril Ramaphosa to grant Dr Frank Mdlalose a Special Official Provincial Funeral Category 2. A Special Provincial Official Funeral Category 2 is accorded to distinguished persons, specifically designated by the President of South Africa on request by a province’s Premier.
Dr Frank Mdlalose will be remembered for his prominent role as a leader and negotiator during the Codesa negotiations held at Kempton Park, which eventually led to the 1994 elections. He also played an instrumental role in cultivating peace in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, working alongside senior leaders of the ANC and the IFP.
Former Premier Dr Frank Mdlalose’s funeral will take place on Thursday, 8 April 2021, in Madadeni Township, Newcastle.
As part of the funeral arrangements, the South African Police Service will provide ceremonial elements, and the flag will be flown at half-mast in the province on the day. The President’s granting of a special provincial funeral to Dr Mdlalose will ensure his legacy is aptly honoured and remembered.
With the country bidding farewell to the well-known political figure, what are your thoughts? Share your views in the comments section below.