KZN’s oldest patriarch survived by 154 descendants

2010-11-12 00:00

THE oldest man in KwaZulu-Natal and one of the oldest in the country died on Sunday.

William Muntukayise Mthethwa died in hospital at the age of 115.

Yesterday Social Development MEC Meshack Radebe and KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize visited the Mthethwa family in KwaDabeka, Claremont, to pay their respects.

Social Development identified Mthethwa as the oldest person in the province through the pension system.

Last year the department intervened after reports were received about Mthethwa’s squalid living conditions.

During a party to mark his birthday in December last year, the department, the province and local businesspeople gave Mthethwa a fully furnished house.

The occasion was marked by the presentation of a huge birthday cake.

Radebe said yesterday there were difficulties with the preparations for the funeral, and after he made an appeal on SABC radio on Wednesday, a local businessman, Themba Njilo, undertook to pay for the funeral.

The MEC said, “Our senior citizens are to be cherished as they are the source of information to our roots.

“We all want to know who we are and where we are coming from, and our link to that part of our lives are our senior citizens. We thank the intervention of local business people when their support is needed most,” said Radebe.

Attempts to contact the family were unsuccessful.

Mthethwa had four wives, two of whom died before him, and he leaves 29 children, 50 grandchildren and 75 great-grandchildren.

Only four of his 16 siblings are still living. He will be buried on Saturday in KwaNongoma, northern KZN.

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