KZN ANC says it’s lost five leaders to COVID-19 in a week

SABC News Nomvuzo Shabalala 1 - KZN ANC says it’s lost five leaders to COVID-19 in a week

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says it has lost five veteran leaders in the province to COVID-19 in the past week. The latest death is that of a member of the National Assembly, Nomvuzo Shabalala, who was also former eThekwini deputy mayor.

As the second wave of COVID-19 ravages the country, KZN has the third highest number of infections nationally with 17.9% of the burden. On Christmas Day, the province suffered 27 deaths due to the virus out of a total of 293 nationally.

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These deaths are also being felt at a provincial government level.

“Yes we can confirm that. The situation in the province is not normal. On Tuesday, we lost a veteran Quieeneth Magwaza, on Wednesday, we buried our Provincial Administrator Thobsi Ngubane, Today we are burying the mayor of Umlalazi Comrade Jeke Zulu, and tomorrow we are burying the Chairperson of the Veterans Baba Dlomo. As I’m speaking with you today, we got a call in the early hours of this morning that we lost a member of the National Assembly; former Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Mama Nomvuzo Shabalala,” says Provincial ANC spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela.

Ntombela has cautioned people against dropping their guard.

“This is a reality which our people in KZN must face that this COVID-19 is there and is killing our people and there is no cure other than us protecting ourselves and our loved ones by following the guidelines and protocols as outlined by the government. Comrade Queeneth was admitted in hospital for almost one day and she passed on. Comrade Thobsi had been in hospital for almost a week. Comrade Mam Nomvuzo had been in and out of hospital because she was also diabetic. Comrade Dlomo passed on at home.”

Tributes for Shabalala

Shabalala’s death has shocked those who worked closely with her. KZN SACP chairperson, James Nxumalo, who served with Shabalala during his tenure as eThekwini mayor, says they are devastated.

Nxumalo says Shabalala served the ANC and the SACP with diligence.

“We are all shocked and devastated and shuttered about the sad news that we just received this morning that Comrade Nomvuzo Shabalala has passed away. We are all shuttered, we don’t have the words to express our shock and devastation because many people would remember that Comrade Nomvuzo Shabalala was an outstanding leader; very committed and dedicated kind of a person, a gender activist kind of a woman. She was deployed to eThekwini as a member of an executive committee and Deputy Mayor of eThekwini and she was also a leader of the SACP.”

To date, 3 901 people have died from the virus in the province.

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