Off to the poll with a potential future president, Mkhize

2014-05-08 00:00

THE next time former KZN premier Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize walks across the footbridge from his Willowfountain house to the Thandokuhle Crèche to cast his vote he could be doing so as the potential future president of South Africa.

Analysts, like University of Cape Town Politics Professor Anthony Butler, have predicted that Mkhize is a man to watch as a future presidential candidate, as a stalwart of the ANC age.

However, yesterday Mkhize was not entertaining thoughts about the future.

His focus was on winning hearts and minds as he did his early morning walkabout through Willowfountain, shaking hands and hugging little children.

It was shortly after 7 am with a nip in the air, as steady streams of people made their way to the two voting stations in the area. Many more were already there, having arrived between 5.30 and 6 am. The vendors lined up outside were beginning to put kettles on their gas stoves for tea.

Mkhize recalled a totally different atmosphere 20 years ago when no one was standing around drinking tea.

“You couldn’t walk around in a party T-shirt; you would have been killed and the tension between the ANC and the IFP was palpable, even here in Willowfountain,” the ANC treasurer-general said.

But Mkhize added that even then, in the midst of the violence in the country, voting day was peaceful. “We may not have known much about democracy back then, but we seemed to understand that voting day was sacrosanct,” he said.

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