President Jacob Zuma wants to be the mayor of Nkandla once he steps down as the country’s president, he said at the special provincial funeral for struggle veteran Riot Mkhwanazi in KwaDlangezwa, near Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.
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“When I say I want to contest to be a councillor in my ward when I take my pension, people laugh. But it is not personal; it’s organisational. I was just telling someone on Saturday that my ambition is to be mayor of Nkandla, one day,” Zuma said.
Mkhwanazi and Zuma were imprisoned together on Robben Island for 10 years and worked together in exile after their release.
The Inkatha Freedom Party won the Nkandla municipality with 54% of the vote, compared to the African National Congress’s 44.25% in the August 3 local government elections. The ward in which Zuma’s private Nkandla homestead is situated, ward 14, was retained by an ANC councillor.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the ANC – an example that comrade Mkhwanazi showed here the city of uMhlathuze,” Zuma said, referring to Mkhwanazi’s willingness to serve as a ward councillor for KwaDlangezwa, despite his struggle credentials.
“He was a stalwart, but did not hesitate to become a councillor. He did not say no, I must be up there and honoured among others. He did not think himself too important. And that is politics,” Zuma said.
Many people could learn from Mkhwanazi’s dedication to the ANC and South Africa and should follow his example.
“He taught us that leadership is all about service. If we, as the ANC, are to succeed, we should take lessons from him.” KwaDlangezwa is about 30km south of Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal.