Zibuse Mlaba Death – Obituary: We received a devastated news earlier today that Former ANC member of the KZN provincial legislature and Cato Ridge’s interim, Zibuse Mlaba has been shot to death.
Zibuse Mlaba passed away following his involvement in a gun battle that happened at the Wareing’s Shopping Centre, in Cato Ridge, on Thursday. He died at the age of 65. It was reported that Zibuse Mlaba was shot seven times on his head, chest and back. However, the gunmen are still at large.
The party was “highly disturbed by the assassination” of Mlaba, who the ANC described as a “disciplined leader”.
Nhlakanipho Ntombela, ANC provincial spokesperson wrote in a lengthy message, he said:
“We are devastated by the brutal killing of Mlaba who died in a hail of bullets when attacked while opening his office in Cato Ridge, west of Durban, yesterday morning. Although the details are still sketchy at this point and the motive is still unknown, Mlaba was shot dead in full view of the public and he died at the scene,”
We are deeply shocked and outraged by this senseless killing of our leader. We have lost one of the most dedicated cadres and community workers in the province. While he was regent of the KwaXimba clan, in Ward 1 of eThekwini, Mlaba challenged the traditional way of life in the clan and this led to his life being threatened on several occasions by warlords.
Mlaba was deeply involved in the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), which helped lead through the period of political violence in KwaZulu-Natal.
“He was part of the Contralesa delegation that visited the then-banned ANC in Lusaka in 1989 to introduce this progressive structure of traditional leadership that dared to operate right inside the hostile cauldron of the erstwhile KwaZulu Bantustan government led by Inkatha,” said Ntombela.
After the unbanning of the ANC and other liberation movements, Mlaba became prominent in the then-Natal Midlands Region of the ANC. He was elected repeatedly to the Natal Midlands Region Executive Committee and grew “ANC membership in KwaXimba to unprecedented levels”, said Ntombela.
It is still the largest ANC branch in the country.
Mlaba was also a development activist and served as an ANC MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature on various portfolio committees including agriculture, environmental affairs and conservation and human settlements.
“The ANC calls on the law enforcement agencies to track down the assailants and ensure they pay for their sins,” said Ntombela.
The party sent its condolences to the Mlaba family, friends and the community of KwaXimba.
Mbulelo Baloyi can’t hold how he feels following the brutal murder of Zibuse Mlaba, he wrote;
What an irony and a strange twist of events. On the day the largest hospital in the Greater Pietermaritzburg is renamed after one of its greatest sons, Cde Harry Gwala it is the same day that a leader who stood head and shoulders in the trenches with uMntomdala at the height of internecine political violence in the then Natal Midlands Cde Zibuse Michael Mlaba of KwaXimba near Nagle Dam outside Cato Ridge in the majestic Valley of the Thousand Hills is brutally demised. It is hurting. I have known the late Cde Zibuse Mlaba from the early 1990s. I still cannot fathom what befell him. We survived many a political skirmishes with the then Regent iNkosi Mlaba in what was then the Natal Midlands Region of the ANC for him to be so cowardly demised. May His Revolutionary Soul Continue To Rest In Power
PREMIER ZIKALALA CONVEYS HIS CONDOLENCES ON THE PASSING OF FORMER REGENT AND MPL ZIBUSE MLABA
The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala has expressed a deep sense of shock, outrage and sadness at the news of the brutal assassination of Former Regent and Member of the Provincial Legislature Zibuse Mlaba following a shooting incident that took place in Camperdown.
The former regent of the Mlaba clan, is regarded one of the most illustrious leaders, a foremost pioneer for peace, an activist for development and a true democrat.
Police report that former regent Mlaba was attacked by two gunmen in his office and sadly we have received the news that he succumbed to his injuries.
The passing of the former regent and MPL Zibuse Mlaba marks one of the saddest periods in the life of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Former regent Mlaba represents the crop of dedicated leaders of our who distinguished himself by addressing the grassroots and bread and butter issues of the local communities of the Mkhambathini area.
Former regent Mlaba played a crucial role in quelling down tensions at the height of political violence in the province.
Through his tragic passing, we are again reminded that the spectre of violence persists in our province and that more efforts need to be dedicated to the eradication of the aspect of our lives. Nothing justifies violence in resolving conflict. We therefore wish to urge the SAPS to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators of this act to book as soon as possible.
It is ironic that through this violent attack, the province of KwaZulu-Natal has lost one of its foremost pioneer for peace, who did not just usher in peripheral changes but genuinely made social and political transformation a reality of our democracy.
Born into royalty, former regent Mlaba followed the example of his father when he resisted attempts by the apartheid machinery over generations, to politicise the Ximba chieftancy, and indeed the institution of traditional leadership in KZN in general.
In this manner, former regent Mlaba crafted and cemented his legacy as one of the architects who popularized and legitimised the institution of traditional leadership and by so doing, preserved its dignity among all the people of KZN regardless of political affiliation.
This was a commitment also made by former regent Zibuse’s brother Inkosi Msinga who in 1988 fell to the assassin’s bullet for similar beliefs.
Former regent and MPL Zibuse Mlaba distinguished himself as a man of peace not only in KwaXimba but also in neighbouring locality of Nyavu, in the surrounding areas and the entire province. Having suffered in his own family, former regent Mlaba was fully aware that his own commitment to peace would come at a dear price. As a result of his beliefs and stance against apartheid, he spent extended periods away from home during the 80s and early 90s because of real threats to his life and having survived a few assassination attempts.
Yet peace always ruled him. Instead of retribution former regent Mlaba chose the path of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between hitherto warring parties of the IFP and the ANC.
Former regent Mlaba did this because, he argued, peace was a necessary condition for development, and that without development the freedom dividends would not trickle to the masses.
Former regent Mlaba was clear that the opposition were never his enemy, but he identified the challenges of poverty unemployment and inequality as standing in the way of human dignity for all.
In this regard former regent and MPL Mlaba identified community development as the route through which the lives of citizens could be improved. He chose to work with Induna Mdluli of the IFP-controlled Nyavu to ensure access to clean water and electricity, external support for development that enabled them to build schools, a community hall and a clinic for their neighbours.
It was this ability to work across so-called political divide which enabled former regent and MPL Mlaba to become one of the people to publicly identify the existence of the Third Force. The Third Force was later exposed as the dirty work of the apartheid regime which was actively arming the conflicting sides in a bid to destabilise the province and to prolong violent killings.
In former regent Zibuse’s death we have lost a true visionary, an advocate for democracy, development, peace, human rights and a human being who was prepared to stand for the truth at all costs.
On behalf of government and people of KwaZulu-Natal we bow our heads to the quite revolutionary of our liberation movement, a life-long protector and true leader of the masses, and hero of our struggle for true democracy.
Although funeral arrangements is yet to be announced, it goes without saying the family is dealing with a devastating loss and could use your support. On behalf of the family, we are asking for your prayers, love, and support during this very difficult and painful time for them.
Little acts such as tributes and prayers can go a long way to heal the family of their loss and remind them the world still loves them.
This post will be updated with more information as they are made available and public.