Rajbansi was courageous - Ndebele

2011-12-31 17:09

Johannesburg - Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi, who died this week, showed courage during the transition to a democratic South Africa, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said at his funeral in Chatsworth on Saturday.

"Many would agree with me when I say that this was a courageous man of exceptional talents," said Ndebele in a speech prepared for delivery at Rajbansi's funeral.

"His contribution to nation building and bringing unity particularly here in KwaZulu-Natal is well documented."

Rajbansi was granted an official funeral after he died aged 69 on Thursday morning, after being admitted to hospital in Umhlanga, outside Durban, in October with bronchitis.

Ndebele said that he had served with "The Bengal Tiger", as Rajbansi was known, in the cabinet of the KwaZulu-Natal government between 2004 and 2009.

As premier of the province, Ndebele had invited Rajbansi to serve as sports and recreation MEC.

"True to his character of fostering co-operation at all times, he gladly accepted the request."

Ndebele said that Rajbansi had been involved during the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) negotiations that heralded a new constitutional democracy for South Africa.

The Minority Front had also been a "reliable force" as the country sought to develop in the post-apartheid era, he said.

Ndebele said the "most remarkable" example of this, was when, in 1999 and 2004, Rajbansi entered into a coalition with the ANC to allow it to retain power in the province.

The Minority Front won one seat in the provincial government in 1999 and two seats in 2004.

"Some may have been tempted to dismiss his role and that of his party as minor in the greater thick of things.

However some of us who have been part of the political processes of this province would attest that he was central to all that we have achieved."

Ndebele said Rajbansi sent out the message that African and Indian people needed to "live side-by-side."

He said he was certain the Minority Front would continue to play a "critical role" in the country's political landscape.

"Rajbansi has planted a seed that would be difficult to stop from blossoming," said Ndebele.

  • Jeffrey - 2011-12-31 18:26

    Rajbansi sided his MF with the strongest party or where he could see he could get a cushy position for himself. It had nothing to do with being courageous and everything to do with self-interest. He sides with PW Botha and the National Party prior to 1994. He was nothing but a political prostitute, with a sad taste in toupees.

      Vegi - 2011-12-31 18:45

      Your culture of not respecting the dead is highly distasteful. You had all the opportunity to criticise him while he was alive and able to defend himself but you choose to slander him posthumously. He spoke for his community and his community liked him, hence he led them for so many years. He is now gone and his community is weeping, so please keep quiet.

  • frank.hartry - 2011-12-31 21:31

    All of a sudden Rajnansi has gone from villain to saint. The ANC as represented by Ndebele is praising a man that was part of an apartheid government under PW Botha, that specifically denied the majority of the population of the time, the vote and participation in that Tricameral government. I will never understand this ANC bunch but it does reveal how hypocritical the politicians of South Africa really are. the ANC, DA ACDP and IFP and their leaders are all profusely praising Rajbansi in order to get the Indian community on their respective side. What parasites they are to use Rajbansi in death. South African politicians are the most evil despicable human beings on earth. --RIP Rajabansi.

      Claire Knoechl - 2012-01-01 00:12

      @frank hardy - well said!

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