Daughter of ANC leader Jackson Mthembu commits suicide

20 March 2019 - 07:46
By Iavan Pijoos
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu announced on Wednesday that his eldest daughter had passed away.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu announced on Wednesday that his eldest daughter had passed away.

The eldest daughter of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has committed suicide, her hurting father has disclosed.

Mthembu tweeted on Wednesday morning that his daughter, Khwezi Mthembu, took her life at their Pelican parliamentary village home in Cape Town.

"We are in deep pain," he said.

"We don't know what led her to take her own life at such a tender age of 25 years."

Calls to Mthembu went unanswered.

In previous interviews, Mthembu has mused about the impact of his commitment to politics on his family life. His first marriage broke up and, in 2011, Mthembu publicly opened up about his son's addiction to the dangerous drug, nyaope.

Writing a deeply personal account in the Sunday Times, Mthembu said the family had done everything possible to help and support his son.

"We have lost count of how many times we took him to rehab. At one stage we enrolled him at a further education and training college and paid all the fees. But he was there only a month before disappearing into the streets.

"It was then that I said to his mother, stepmother and siblings that I would have nothing to do with him until he decided what to do with his own life.

"I believe as a family we have done everything possible to help my son and support him. I told him I had reached the point of walking away from him — and the only way he could come back into my life was when he proved he could lead a life without drugs.

"… I said these things - and they hurt me. But what do you do as a parent to save your kid from this disruptive life? What do you do when you have other kids who need your parental love, support and look up to you?"

"I believe that as a country we need to close the drug supply line. I believe we need to remove the suppliers from our streets, our schools and our public and private places. If not, we will not win this war against drugs and we will most likely have a lost generation."