KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier and senior ANC leader Willies Mchunu said his party was ready to welcome back former President Jacob Zuma with open arms following his recall, Zululand Observer reports.
Speaking at the funeral service of city speaker Mfundo Mthenjana on Sunday at Umfolozi TVET College in KZN, Mchunu said regardless of what happened to President Zuma in government, “we still have faith in him as a province”.
“We are not confused by what happened to him and are mindful of the fact that Zuma has not been found guilty by any ANC structure. We commend him for abiding by the decision of the NEC to step down from office. That alone shows his character.
“Ours is to welcome him back as our father. Let us own him and take him along when we campaign for the 2019 general election, because he is still our leader to date,” he said.
Mchunu’s remarks comes in the wake of growing calls by some KZN branches to have Zuma as the provincial chairperson of the ANC when the province elects its new leadership.
Turning to the role played by Mthenjana, Mchunu said the region and the KZN government have lost a good leader.
“We need men and women who will walk in the footsteps of Comrade Mfundo. He worked with different political parties, including those who stood in the way of freedom and those who persecuted freedom fighters.”
Mchunu worked closely with Mthenjana’s father Abe, who was also an ANC activist while he was deployed in eSikhaleni.
“Mfundo became his father’s carbon copy. Abe was called a People’s Mayor while Mfundo was called a People’s Speaker. I’m sure Abe is proud to have produced a good leader in Comrade Mfundo,” he said.
Mthenjana is survived by his fiancèe Nelly Mabuyakhulu, his mother Thami, two brothers and a sister and his children Langalibalele and Khwezi Mthenjana.