Official funeral for Rajbansi

2011-12-31 00:00

THE South African flag will fly at half-mast today in honour of the Minority Front leader, Amichand Rajbansi, who died on Thursday.

Rajbansi’s funeral will take place in Chatsworth today.

Ndabe Sibiya, spokesperson for the provincial government, said a request was sent to the presidency to proclaim the occasion an official funeral in honour of Rajbansi’s contribution to the country and the province.

As a sign of respect the president directed that the national flag would fly at half-mast at every flag station in KwaZulu-Natal a day before the burial or cremation until the evening of the day of the funeral.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that Rajbansi had played a significant role in paving the way for democracy and stabilising the politics in the province.

“Mr Rajbansi led his party to participate during the negotiations that paved the way for the transition to democracy.

“He also played a significant role in stabilising the politics of the province, especially in the period between 1994 and 1999. He is remembered for his debating skills and cracking jokes in a tension-filled debate.”

He said Rajbansi distinguished himself both as an MEC and as a seasoned politician during his tenure in the KZN Legislature and served his constituency with diligence and commendation.

Condolences continued to pour in yesterday, some from Rajbansi’s former political foes. Outgoing eThekwini Metro manager Michael Sutcliffe said he was saddened by the MF leader’s death.

Sutcliffe said Derek Naidoo, Rajbansi’s political foe in the 1980s, had sent a message to the family expressing his condolences.

Naidoo, a member of the ANC and Mkhonto Wesizwe, spent two years in jail for his involvement in the bombing of the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court and Rajbansi’s residence. He was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Attempts to contact Naidoo were unsuccessful as he is reportedly in Morocco.

Sutcliffe said: “… we were fighting against the apartheid system and we have never had problems with Rajbansi.”

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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