Zweli gets a large flea in his ear

2013-08-30 00:00

ALTHOUGH it was KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize’s swan song in the provincial legislature, opposition parties were not about to give him a smooth ride to Luthuli House.

The IFP’s Blessed Gwala, in particular, did not mince his words when noting Mkhize was a loyal cadre of the ANC and exhibited the character of his organisation.

“The character I am referring to is that of dismal failure to honour undertakings,” said Gwala.

Mkhize, whom he described as someone with a calm mind and who listened to others, was leaving behind unfinished business with regard to the peaceful co-existence of their parties.

The ANC had yet to respond following a row over the renaming of Mangosuthu Highway in uMlazi after apartheid lawyer Griffiths Mxenge.

Gwala said that Mkhize had acted as if there was no opposition. “I don’t remember the premier taking time to engage the opposition,” he said, adding that Mkhize left the province with “municipalities that have taken five steps backwards to the extent that they have become a joke in certain circles”.

More saddening was that Mkhize left a trail of more grinding poverty, more rampant crime and unemployment, said Gwala. This legacy was not Mkhize’s alone, but was in fact that of the ANC.

ACDP Jo-Ann Downs paid tribute to Mkhize who as Health MEC in the province, when it was an IFP-led government, was the first to provide anti-retroviral drugs, against the wishes of the national government.

“National leaders differed, but you never compromised the people of KZN,” she said.

In wishing him well, Downs said: “I trust you will lead the ANC financial affairs with integrity and that we won’t have Chancellor House scandals.”

The DA’s Sizwe Mchunu said Mkhize should have left the province as soon as he was elected treasurer-general.

Although he praised him for his engaging manner, Mchunu said Mkhize was leaving KZN with 10% of its councils under administration.

But, the ANC’s Sipho Gcabashe derided Mkhize’s critics, saying the province was sad to lose Mkhize, whom he described as a person who reached out to everyone.

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