KZN politician Meshack Radebe dies

06 February 2021 - 13:55
By amanda khoza AND Amanda Khoza
Meshack Radebe.
Image: Facebook/KZN Department of Transport Meshack Radebe.

Prominent KwaZulu-Natal politician Meshack Radebe has died, the ANC confirmed on Saturday.

“We have lost ubhungane umkhumbi wokumoyizela — Meshack Radebe is no more. RIP Bhungane. More details will follow once we interact with the family,” said the party's provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela.

“He passed away from the hospital. Let us keep the family in our prayers.” 

Hailed as a political peacekeeper, Radebe played a critical role in stabilising relations between the ANC and IFP towards the end of apartheid.

The provincial ANC said in a statement later in the day that it had learnt of his untimely death in the early hours of Saturday, after a short illness, with great sadness and sorrow.

“The ANC feels deeply the loss of Cde, Meshack Hadebe, whose life epitomised the resilience against injustice and black-on-black violence. Cde Bhungane’s passing continues what has been a horrible week for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal following the passing of five of our decorated leaders,” said the party.

“He played a critical role in many initiatives aimed at bringing peace between the belligerent factions of the ANC and IFP in Mpumalanga township, near Hammarsdale, where he also lived. This saw him being acknowledged as a global peacemaker together with his late IFP counterpart Sipho Mlaba by a number of organisations including the University of Natal where they were both awarded honorary doctorates.”

Former IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said, “Dr Radebe was a friend of peace and a champion of reconciliation. He was one of the few whose commitment to reconciliation between the IFP and the ANC was genuinely and openly expressed.”

He said they had shared a meal just a few months ago in Durban. “In this time of increasing sorrow and loss, I send my condolences to Dr Radebe’s family. We pray that they will be comforted and find strength, knowing the Dr Meshack Radebe surely rests in peace.”

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said Radebe had made a “great contribution to the struggle for liberation, for the social development of the people of KwaZulu-Natal”.

DA leader in the province Zwakele Mncwango said the party was shocked by the death of Radebe and extended condolences to his family and the ANC.