The Deputy Speaker at the KZN Provincial Legislature Mluleki Ndobe shot himself on Friday night.
The ANC deputy provincial secretary, Ndobe, was reportedly battling with cancer and had been in and our of hospital in the recent months as he was undergoing chemotherapy.
EFF leader, Vusi Khoza, was amongst those who took to social media to express their shock over his death.
The DA's Zwakele Mncwango said: "A lot can be said about him but people who worked closely with him will agree that he was very humble and respectful."He said they had different perceptions when Ndobe joined the legislature but he proved to be a different and honorable person.
Ndobe joined the legislature after the 2019 general elections. Prior his move to the provincial government he served two terms as a mayor at the Harry Gwala District. He was a chairperson of the the South African Local Government Association in KZN.
Speaker, Nontenbeko Boyce, said Ndobe belonged to the generation of leaders who dedicated their lives to serving the people with distinction."That is why he continued to offer his services to the people of KwaZulu-Natal even during the time when he was ill.
"He will be missed for his ability to unite members of the legislature across the political spectrum towards a common goal," she said. Boyce said Ndobe, who was a qualified teacher, would also be remembered for his love for education. She said after obtaining his education degree, he continued to broaden his horizons and received an MBA at Mancosa. He was studying towards his doctorate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Last year he was arrested in connection with the 2017 murder of ANCYL leader, Sindiso Magaqa, but the charges were later dropped due a lack of sufficient evidence linking him to the crime.
Premier Sihle Zikalala said the KZN Government was "shocked and saddened" by the passing of Ndobe. "
This is a great loss for our province. The people of KwaZulu-Natal have lost a devoted and outstanding servant, who committed his life to serving the people of our province. To many of us Deputy Speaker Ndobe was a brother, friend and comrade. From an early age, Deputy Speaker Ndobe distinguished himself as a committed and highly competent leader, who was passionate about community development. He had a deep understanding of local government and rose through those ranks, to successfully carve himself a niche as one of our foremost leaders in this important sphere of governance, which is closest to the people.
"He always worked tirelessly, with unmatched dedication, to improve people's lives, and left a mark in virtually every capacity in which he served as a public representative and a tireless servant of the people's glorious movement, the African National Congress. We had become aware that he had been unwell, we were still nursing the hope that he will recover, we really did not expect him to leave us so suddenly. Therefore, his untimely passing will be difficult to accept.
"Nevertheless, we have to take the baton from him, and solider on in our quest to realise the National Democratic Revolution. In due course, we will be making our way to be with the Ndobe family, in order to coalesce and lend them our support at this difficult time. We convey our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Ndobe family, his colleagues and the people of KwaZulu-Natal," said Zikalala.
Provincial police released a statement on Saturday morning saying that Umbilo SAPS attended the scene of the suicide. They said Ndobe's wife told them the family was sitting in the living room and Ndobe went to the main bedroom.
"When he was sitting on the chair in the main bedroom he asked for water."
When his wife was fetching the water she heard a gun shot sound from the main bedroom.
"She then went to investigate and found her husband seated on the chair with one gun shot wound on his left chest (heart). The deceased was identified as Mr Mluleki Ndobe, , 46 years of age. The victim used his private firearm to shoot himself and the firearm was found lying on the floor and it was next to him on the floor. "The firearm is a 9mm. One spent cartridge was found on the scene and one live ammunition in the magazine. No suicide note was found and there was no suspicions that the deceased might commit suicide. The deceased was later transported to mortuary."