Tributes pour in after death of Zanele Magwaza-Msibi
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Tributes have been pouring in following the death of NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi at the Umhlanga Hospital in Durban on Monday morning.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said Magwaza-Msibi served the people of South Africa with distinction during her tenure as a parliamentarian between 2014 and 2019, when she resigned due to ill-health.
“May the family, friends and colleagues of Mama Zanele find solace in knowing that their loss is shared by the entire nation. May her soul rest in peace,” Pule said.
DA spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said her party mourned the passing of the NFP, whom she described as “a powerhouse politician” who started her career in the IFP and later left to lead the NFP into Parliament.
“We will remember her for her fearlessness and as a trailblazer for women in politics. We also commend her for her service to the country as a councillor, Member of Parliament, Mayor and Deputy Minister.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa conveyed the party’s “deepest and sincere condolences to the Magwaza and Msibi families on the passing of the NFP leader and specifically to her daughter Gugu and son Melusi on the loss of their mother”.
He said they had always hoped that she would make a recovery following her admission to the hospital two weeks ago.
“We dip our banners down in honour of her life. We really offer our condolences to her family,” Hlengwa said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa also passed his party’s condolences to Magwaza-Msibi and the NFP.
Holomisa described Magwaza-Msibi as someone who worked very hard for the IFP when he first met her, and was its pillar until she founded the NFP.
“May those who will continue to run with her baton understand that this was a powerful woman who stood against all odds, and may her soul rest in peace,” he said.
The DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal Francois Rodgers, said Magwaza-Msibi’s death was a great loss for the province and the country as a whole.
“KaMagwaza was not afraid to speak her mind and paved the way for many women in politics. She was a force to be reckoned with
“She defied all odds and proved that women can lead from the front. She will be missed for her contribution and bravery,” he said.
Magwaza-Msibi cut her political teeth in the IFP and rose through the ranks to become its national chairperson.
The former mayor of Zululand District Municipality founded the NFP as a breakaway from the IFP in 2011.
After her party secured several seats in the National Assembly and KwaZulu-Natal legislature, former deputy president Jacob Zuma appointed her as the deputy minister of science and technology from 2014 until 2019.
However, after a poor performance by the NFP in 2019 elections, she did not stay long in the National Assembly due to ill-health.