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Traditional leaders adamant Zweli Mkhize will lead the ANC

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize upped the ante in his fight for the ANC presidency in December after he expressed willingness to accept the desires of some supporters for him to become the next head of state. Picture: Sihle Mavuso

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize upped the ante in his fight for the ANC presidency in December after he expressed willingness to accept the desires of some supporters for him to become the next head of state. Picture: Sihle Mavuso

Published May 23, 2022

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Durban - Traditional leaders from across the Zulu Kingdom and some of the most influential members of the ANC expressed their strongly held belief that former Health minister and ANC NEC member Zweli Mkhize is the next in line to lead the ANC.

In support of Mkhize, hundreds of members of Amabutho led by their commanders and traditional leaders descended on the home of the former minister in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday to witness the wedding of his eldest son, Dedani Mkhize, who tied the knot with his wife Sithokozile Mthembu.

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Clad in Zulu traditional attire, young and old traditional leaders from the north to the southern parts of the Zulu nation spoke to the publication, and stated that all traditional leaders in the province had agreed to mobilise their respective communities in support of Mkhize’s bid for the ANC presidency.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, his grandson Singela Mkhize and son Dedanimabhunu Mkhize, who was getting married in traditional fashion to Sithokozile Mthembu, at his homestead in Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg, on Saturday. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Inkosi Sithembiso Mkhize from Ngilanyoni in Mbumbulu, south of Durban, stated that they were throwing their support behind Mkhize.

“We are confident that Mkhize will ascend to the office of the presidency, and we know this is inevitable because even those with powers are intimidated by the support shown to Mkhize on the ground. Win or lose, we will support him throughout and we will ensure the people of KZN support him too,” said Inkosi Mkhize.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, ANC Regional secretary Nathi Xulu and Vuyo Mkhize, who is a friend of Zweli Mkhize, during Dedani’s traditional wedding at his homestead in Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Echoing Inkosi Mkhize, Inkosi Njabulo Mkhize from Howick said that it was no surprise that law enforcement agencies had been unleashed on Mkhize.

“They know that Mkhize cannot be stopped from contesting, so what they do is create charges and drag him to courts so that he loses focus and does not invest his energy on his campaign.

“History is repeating itself; we have seen this in the past with Msholozi (Jacob Zuma) so we are not shaken in our call for him to lead the nation,” said Inkosi Njabulo Mkhize.

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The calls for Mkhize to contest the ANC presidency came after Susimpi Ngubane, leader of Zulu regiments from the Msinga area in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, broke the ice and called for Mkhize to rule the country.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s son, Dedanimabhunu Mkhize, who was getting married traditionally to Sthokozile Mthembu at his homestead in Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Picture: Tumi Pkkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Zweli Mkhize, wearing a leopard-skin given to him by the traditional leaders as a sign of their endorsement, said he could not defy a call from the people.

“I respect your wishes and what you are saying; what I can say is that structures of the ANC will meet and discuss it.

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“When they come to us, we can say that we have always been available to work for the people as long as they are frustrated by poverty, inequality, unemployment, crime, and the economy not in their hands. We see that as a call for us to continue to work for the community,” he said.

Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize wife Dr May Mkhize, Dr Nozipho Ngubo Mkhize, Shawun Mkhize and Dedanimabhunu Mkhize, who was getting married traditionally to Sthokozile Mthembu at his homestead in Willowfontein in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Picture: Tumi Pkkies/African News Agency (ANA)

Mkhize then spoke about what he suggested was a campaign to prevent him from running for the presidency. He said every day he had to answer suspicious questions from the media.

The ceremony was attended by notable business people, newly elected ANC regional leaders from various parts of the country, members of the ANCYL, NEC member Dakota Legoete, and former ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini.

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