The IFP, which Mdlalose was a founding member of, announced his death on Sunday. Picture: Supplied
The IFP, which Mdlalose was a founding member of, announced his death on Sunday. Picture: Supplied

Former KZN premier Dr Frank Mdlalose hailed for shaping SA political landscape

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 4, 2021

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Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Dr Frank Mdlalose has been hailed for his contributions to South Africa's political landscape following his death from Covid-19.

The IFP, which Mdlalose was a founding member of, announced his death on Sunday.

He died from a Covid-19 related illness at the age of 89. He leaves behind his children and his wife, who is currently also battling the virus in hospital, the party said.

The IFP said in a statement that Mdlalose was an outstanding servant for the country.

Mdlalose had served as premier in the newly re-named KwaZulu-Natal province following the 1994 elections until 1997.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, an MP and founder of the IFP, said Mdlalose had also served as national chairperson of the party and had served as a minister of interior and then health.

"During the constitutional negotiations, he became one of the IFP’s main negotiators and was our country’s champion for federalism and the creation of provinces," Buthelezi said.

"I am grateful to have served our country alongside a leader of his calibre, and to have maintained a friendship with him long after our political work together ended."

Mdlalose also served as an Ambassador to Egypt.

Current KZN Premier Sihle Zikala hailed Mdlalose for his work in negotiating peace between the ANC and the IFP along with former ANC president Jacob Zuma in 1991.

“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."

He added:" We will remember Dr Mdlalose for his prominent role as leader and negotiator during the Codesa negotiations which were held at Kempton Park and eventually led to the 1994 elections. "

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

Mdlalose was born in Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal in 1931r. He led a branch of the ANC Youth League. He later joined the IFP at its founding in 1975.

The DA said Mdlalose had worked well with the party while he was premier.

DA KZN MPL Francois Rodgers said: "The DA enjoyed a good working relationship with Mdlalose, during his time as the Premier because he strived to include all parties in the post-apartheid dispensation. He included the DA in his provincial Cabinet under the position of chairman of education. Dr Mdlalose served the province and his counter well during his tenure and his passing is a great loss. "

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