Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma on Thursday said he believed Mineral Resources and Energy deputy minister Bavelile Hlongwa was going to fix many wrongs at the department. 

Zuma spoke at Hlongwa’s memorial service held at the Durban City Hall. 

“When she was appointed into that department I said 'Something good has happened'. 

“I knew that she was going to fix the department because I always knew that there was something wrong with this department,” said Zuma.

Prior to his departure to Zimbabwe for the memorial service of former president Robert Mugabe, Hlongwa had approached Zuma at the University of Limpopo, where Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was being inaugurated as the chancellor, and expressed concern about the department.

“I am not going to say what is wrong with the department, but there is something seriously wrong and she wanted to discuss it and to figure out how we took certain (wrong) decisions. 

“However, as I sat listening to speakers at Mugabe’s memorial service someone came to tell me that the deputy minister is dead. 

“I could not believe that the same person who wanted to discuss such important matters with me was no more,” said Zuma.

He said Hlongwa was a type of a young person he always dreamed would to lead in government, and bring change. 

“She was a rare young person. I knew her better when she was in the ANC Youth League as she shook people without fear. 

“She was a person who did not say things to please certain people because she wanted a position,” said Zuma.

He said Hlongwa had during the ANC conference in Nasrec fought hard against certain leaders who wanted to change the ANC resolution on land. 

“We expected a lot from our comrade because we know her bravery,” he said.  

Political Bureau