Today the outgoing IFP leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is expected to pay his last respects and deliver a speech at the memorial service of the former IFP secretary-general, Sibongile Judith Nkomo.
According to Gauteng IFP chairperson and MPL Bonginkosi Dhlamini, the event would take place at the Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday at 5pm. It would be followed on Saturday by a funeral service at Nkomo’s home at Chiawelo Extension 1 in Soweto.
Party national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa confirmed Buthelezi’s attendance at the memorial service.
Nkomo, 63, an IFP MP until May 8, died on Saturday after a long illness at a Durban hospital. She was elected the party’s secretary-general by the National General Conference in 2012 and left the position in January 2019 due to ill health.
The politician was highly respected within the IFP for her “high-level professionalism, diligence and efficiency of the highest order” in the execution of duties as secretary-general. All senior party members said Nkomo represented the best of IFP leadership in general and woman leadership in particular.
She served previously as the IFP Women’s Brigade Gauteng provincial secretary and later the brigade’s publicity secretary before being elected to the position of secretary-general. She was the IFP’s premier candidate for Gauteng in 1999.
Before being redeployed to the National Assembly in 2013, Nkomo chaired the Standing Committee on Public Accounts at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. In parliament, she among others, served in finance, home affairs, and tourism portfolio committee among others.
Dhlamini said: “Ms Nkomo was a competent, analytical and dedicated member of parliament. We had hoped that she would return to good health and continue her servant leadership to the IFP and South Africa.”
The IFP said in all her elected positions in the IFP and those of public office, Nkomo always gave it her best.
“She was a trusted leader in the IFP and a committed servant of the people,” Dhlamini said.
Nkomo, a former nurse, is survived by her daughter Zama, her mother, and four brothers.
The IFP said: “The IFP shares this deep loss with the Nkomo family, and we mourn with them and offer them our most sincere and heartfelt condolences. May our dearly departed comrade and leader rest in God’s perfect peace.”