Low-key Christmas for KwaZulu-Natal's political leaders

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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
PHOTO: Supplied by KZN government

KZN political leaders, who in the past organised mega Christmas events, have been forced to scale down due to Covid-19.

ANC provincial chairperson and KZN Premier Sihle Zikala, who in the past hosted Christmas parties for pensioners around his home village of Ndwedwe, will spend tomorrow’s Christmas Day monitoring the public’s compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

“Given the Covid-19 situation in the province the premier will be on full alert, particularly given that he is the chairperson of the provincial command council,” Zikalala’s spokesperson, Lennox Mabaso, said.

DA provincial leader Zwakele Mancwango, known for organising massive charity events where food parcels and other items are handed to the poor in his hometown of Nongoma, would spend the Christmas Day indoors.

“Yes the food parcels would still be there but they would be distributed to people at their homes. As a leader, I would be setting an example by staying at home,” he said.

NFP provincial leader Vikizitha Mlotshwa plans to organise a soccer event in Winterton. “I would be using the event to create a Covid-19 awareness among young people given that most of them are now being infected. Unlike in previous years, the number of those attending the tournament would be kept small.”

IFP founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who isuffered Covid-19 some months ago, would be spending the day at his home in Ulundi.

“As someone who contracted Covid-19 and survived, I am all the more aware of the reality of this pandemic. Having seen my son and one of my daughters battle infection, as well as my daughter-in-law, two of my grandchildren and many of my colleagues, I know it is prolific,” he said.

“This is why my message for Christmas 2020 is unusual. This Christmas, I urge us to take seriously the threat to our lives and to do Christmas differently ...”

Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Mzi Thebolla, who is planning to spend the day with his family, said this year’s celebrations mark the end of what has been a “difficult year”.

“During this Christmas, let the birth of Jesus be marked with renewed hope and renewed energy to pursue an aggressive fight against socio-economic challenges so that we can normalise other aspects of our livelihoods within the new normal,” he said.

• clive.ndou@witness.co.za
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