On the Passing of the First Premier of KwaZulu-Natal

Statement by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party

It is with deep sadness that the IFP announces the passing of our former National Chairperson, Dr Frank Mdlalose, who has succumbed to Covid-19. We extend our condolences to his children, Makhosazana, Themba and Lindiwe, and to his wife who is currently in hospital fighting this virus. We pray for her and we wish her strength.

Dr Frank Mdlalose was an outstanding servant of South Africa. As one of the first members of Inkatha, he quickly showed his leadership qualities and his ability to ignite a vision in our people. He served in my Cabinet in the former KwaZulu Government, as Minister of the Interior and then Minister of Health.

During the constitutional negotiations, he became one of the IFP’s main negotiators, and was our country’s champion for federalism and the creation of provinces. When South Africa achieved democracy in 1994 and the electorate placed KwaZulu Natal under the governance of the IFP, we appointed Dr Mdlalose as the first Premier of the Province.

He was our National Chairperson and Premier, until ill health forced him to relinquish these positions. He handed over the premiership to Dr Ben Ngubane, having laid a good foundation of democratic governance in KwaZulu Natal.

We were proud when the national Government appointed Dr Mdlalose as South Africa’s Ambassador to Egypt. Again, he served with distinction.

I am grateful to have served our country alongside a leader of his calibre, and to have maintained a friendship with him long after our political work together ended. We remained close, exchanging correspondence regularly. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to see one another just six months ago.

The IFP gives thanks for the life of Dr Frank Mdlalose. May his family be comforted in this difficult time, and may this great patriot rest in peace.

The Hon. Mr Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539