KZN deputy speaker Mluleki Ndobe found dead after cancer diagnosis
Deputy speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Mluleki Ndobe was found dead at his Durban home on Friday night after apparently taking his own life.
Ndobe, 46, who is believed to have been battling cancer, was found with a single gunshot wound to the chest. His firearm was found lying next to him, according to KwaZulu-Natal police.
Police spokesperson Thembeka Mbele said Ndobe's wife had told police the family were all seated in the living room when Ndobe had gone to the main bedroom.
“When he was sitting on the chair in the main bedroom he asked for water. When the deceased's wife was fetching water she heard a gunshot from the main bedroom,” Mbele said.
The wife went to investigate and found Ndobe seated on the chair with a single gunshot wound to the chest.
“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 next to him on the floor.”
Mbele said one spent cartridge from the 9mm pistol was found on the scene with a live round still in the magazine. No suicide note was found and there were no suspicions that Ndobe might commit suicide, she said.
Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Nontembeko Boyce said on Saturday that Ndobe had been unwell for some time.
“With his passing, our legislature and indeed the entire country has lost an upright leader, a deep thinker and a true servant of the people.
“In this hour of grief, we find comfort in knowing that Mr Ndobe leaves behind a rich legacy for all of us to emulate. His rare qualities earned him tremendous respect among his peers.”
Ndobe joined the legislature in 2019 after two terms as mayor of Harry Gwala District Municipality.
The former Congress of SA Students and ANC Youth League leader was also a former chair of the ANC's Harry Gwala region and a former deputy secretary of the party in KwaZulu-Natal.
At the time of his death, he was a member of the ANC provincial working committee.
Sources close to Ndobe told TimesLIVE he had cancer and found out only when the disease was at an advanced stage.
Boyce praised Ndobe for continuing to offer his services to the people of KwaZulu-Natal even 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.
The ANC's KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, described Ndobe as a servant of the people, a dedicated and a disciplined cadre who had served the movement at various levels.
He said Ndobe has been in and out of hospital battling cancer. “In all his responsibilities bestowed on him by the organisation he remained an activist focused on turning the lives of our people for the better,” said Ntombela.