Durban - A man attempting to get help for his whoonga addiction told eThekwini municipal officials he was the son of ANC national spokesman Jackson Mthembu, that he wanted help and to be reunited with his father.
The man, whose name has not been disclosed, was among more than 300 people addressed by Durban mayor James Nxumalo at Albert Park’s “whoonga park” during an inspection tour on Tuesday.
Nxumalo said he did not know the man. “He just came up to us and said he wanted help and claimed he was Jackson Mthembu’s son,” he said.
The man was taken to the ANC’s provincial office and Mthembu was contacted.
Nxumalo could not confirm if the man was Mthembu’s son.
“Only he (Mthembu) will be able to say if that is his son,” he said.
Mthembu told The Mercury that he had been informed by the ANC provincial office about his son.
“He has come forward so many times before and I have also spoken about it.
“We must understand that we are dealing with someone who is between 28 and 29,” he said.
ANC provincial spokesman Senzo Mkhize confirmed that Mthembu’s son had been brought to their offices.
“He told us he wants to go to rehab. We asked him if he was sure and he said yes,” Mkhize said.
But while they were trying to make arrangements for him, Mkhize said the man said he was going to the toilet and never came back.
“We don’t know where he is, but it is obvious that he was not yet ready to get help. We were going to help him because he is not just Mthembu’s son, he is also ours.”
In 2011, Mthembu spoke out about his son’s drug addiction which, he said, went back to when his son was just 11.