The brother of deceased KwaZulu-Natal legislature deputy speaker Mluleki Ndobe has described him as a commanding figure who could never be replaced.
He said that while his brother’s roles would be filled by others in the ANC, his role as a family member could not.
“We have lost a father, brother, husband, uncle and the vacancy he left will never be filled by anyone. We understand he was a PWC member in the ANC, he was a deputy speaker, all those positions will be filled, but his passing has left a void that can never be filled. We can never have anyone like him,” said Mzolisi Ndobe, the political figure’s younger brother.
Ndobe, who was the mayor of the influential Harry Gwala District, joined the legislature in 2019. He died at his Durban home over the weekend after sustaining a gunshot wound – he had cancer.
Mzolisi said they were hoping to have his funeral on Saturday, but that a post mortem would have to be completed to allow this to happen.
“We are deeply saddened at his passing. It is a great loss for us because he was the pillar, the center [sic] of all of us in the family. Many members of the family were depending on him. Even outside the family, they were depending on him.”
He said Ndobe was very passionate about uniting his clan.
“Our surname is a big surname. He was the one striving very hard to ensure he unifies us and forms one big Ndobe clan with no divisions.”
He said his brother also established a fund to assist members of his clan with educational funding.
“He established a group to assist children of the Ndobe family, when they are going to university, he started that with his own pocket. He was passionate for education; we were both studying our PhD’s we were hoping as brothers to graduate together.”
ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli described Ndobe as an “outstanding comrade”.
“He was intelligent, soft spoken and very decisive. We worked with him for quite a few years now. He is departing at a time when the movement needs people of his calibre.”
Ntuli said he had been in touch with Ndobe, through his illness.
“He was going through a very painful moment. Almost every second day I would give him a call to understand his condition. There were instances where it seemed like he was on the path to recovery, but there were days when he would explain to me that he’s going through excruciating pain.
“As a colleague and comrade, we conveyed a message of hope to him saying he was a soldier who had the responsibility to lead the people.”
Ntuli added a message of hope to other cancer patients: “We now know the end has not been something we can celebrate. What we wish to say… in the spirit of comrade Ndobe, you must continue to resist and ensure you look for professional assistance in whatever manner it comes.”