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Clive Ndou
Politics editor
2 minute read
7 Sep 2021
08:30

‘SA robbed of a strong and fearless leader’

Clive Ndou

Tributes for National Freedom Party leader, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi (59), who died due to heart complications on Monday continued to pour in.

Tributes for National Freedom Party leader, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi (59), who died due to heart complications on Monday continued to pour in.

NFP secretary general, Canaan Mdletshe, said Magwaza-Msibi played an instrumental role in the growth of the NFP.

“She lived her life fighting and championing the cause of the poor, vulnerable and downtrodden.

“She was a loved and greatly respected leader whose passing leaves many at a loss,” he said.

“In her, I found a person who was genuinely concerned with the plight of our people, particularly the youth and women from the deep rural parts of our country.”
Naledi Pandor.

A former IFP national chairperson, Magwaza-Msibi left the party in 2011 to launch the NFP.

Following the 2014 national elections, Magwaza-Msibi was appointed as the deputy minister of science and technology.

The Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Naledi Pandor, who was the minister of science and technology when Magwaza-Msibi was appointed deputy minister of science and technology, said the NFP founder was committed to the upliftment of the poor.

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“In her, I found a person who was genuinely concerned with the plight of our people, particularly the youth and women from the deep rural parts of our country.

“From the moment she joined the department, she became not just the champion but a strong advocate for the use of science and technology to improve the lives of our people,” she said.

DA KwaZulu-Natal provincial leader, Francois Rodgers, described Magwaza-Msibi as a courageous woman who was not afraid to express her views and one who paved the way for many women in politics. “She will sorely be missed for her contribution and bravery,” he said.

ANC provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala, said the ruling party was saddened by Magwaza-Msibi’s death.

“As the ANC in KZN we have worked with her since 2011 and her passing comes as sad news,” he said.

Parliament’s presiding officers said in a statement, “South Africa has been robbed of a strong and fearless leader who challenged the socio-cultural norms and gender stereotypes in the national politics by forming and leading a party with representation in Parliament. She had an untiring commitment to serve the people of the country and collaborated across the political lines to better the lives of South Africans.”