TRIBUTE | Dr Frank Mdlalose was ‘a giant leader of the people’ – KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala | Witness

Dr Frank Mdlalose (proper) is pictured with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, has described the dying of Dr Frank Themba Mdlalose as an ‘immense loss’.

Mdlalose, the primary democratically elected premier of the province, was as a result of rejoice his ninetieth birthday this 12 months.

“Dr Mdlalose sits among the rare breed of civil servants, who sacrificed their potentially lucrative careers as full-time medical doctors to dedicate their lives to the service of our nation,” Zikalala mentioned.

“By so doing, he entered a world of uncertainty and one which was marked by twists and turns.

“While conditions may threaten to overwhelm, they also define leaders who are suited to the time, as Dr Mdlalose was for the transition from apartheid to democracy.

“The period of the late 80s to the 90s was one of the most painful in the life of KwaZulu-Natal, witnessing some of the most violent confrontations between the ANC and the IFP.

“Thousands were killed on either side in a war that was later described as having been fuelled by a so-called third hand.

“This period required the calm and visionary leadership of leaders on either side such as Nelson Mandela and the strategic intervention of people such as Dr Mdlalose in KZN.

“Following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, Dr Mdlalose worked tirelessly with ANC leaders in efforts to stop the violence between ANC and Inkatha supporters.

“He also served as a member of the National Peace Committee, an organ of multiple parties which sought to cement peace in the country and especially KZN.

“In 1991 Dr Mdlalose, together with then ANC chairperson of Southern Natal Jacob Zuma, led the first peace efforts between their two parties when they set up the Peace and Reconstruction Foundation.

“This laid the first foundation stone for peace that up to this day prevails between the ANC and the IFP.

“Dr Mdlalose was a leader with eyes fixed firmly on the masses of our people and extending beyond the party line.

“He believed fervently, that peace was a necessary condition not only for successful national and provincial elections, but for the socio-economic development of the people of the province.”

Mdlalose additionally performed a outstanding function, as chief and negotiator, throughout the Codesa negotiations at Kempton Park.

Following the democratic elections, he was elected Premier.

In 1996 Mdlalose was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to turn out to be South Africa’s ambassador to Egypt.

Born in Nquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal on November 29 November, 1931, Mdlalose studied on the University of Fort Hare the place he obtained a BSc diploma in 1952 and a University Education Diploma in 1953.

In his early years, Mdlalose was a member of the ANC Youth League, earlier than changing into one of many founding members of the IFP in 1975, along with IFP President Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Zikalala mentioned the federal government of KZN mourned the passing of a “giant leader”, including that he, on behalf of the federal government and the folks of KZN, needed to convey everybody’s deepest condolences to the Mdlalose household.

“We wish to express the gratitude of the people of KwaZulu-Natal for the life-time of service given by Dr Mdlalose as a community doctor and a dedicated but humble servant of the people of our province,” he added.

“KwaZulu-Natal owes Dr Mdlalose immensely for his unquantifiable contribution to peace and prosperity in the province and for his role as the country’s ambassador abroad.

“From his life, we will draw many lessons such as that of true servant leadership, self-sacrifice, unending patience and humility when dealing with the people.”

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