Zikalala: KZN govt 'devastated' by death of Ricardo Mthembu

Zikalala: KZN govt 'devastated' by death of Ricardo Mthembu

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says the provincial government is "devastated and deeply saddened" following news of the death of ANC KZN spokesperson, Ricardo Mthembu who died of COVID-19 complications. 

KwaDukuza mayor, Ricardo Mthembu
Steve Bhengu

It's understood that Mthembu was admitted to a north coast hospital over the weekend and is said to have died in ICU on Wednesday. 

Prior to taking up the position of spokesperson of the ruling party in the province, Mthembu previously served as the Mayor of Kwadukuza. 

In a statement, Zikalala says Mthembu was a dedicated, committed, and a tried and tested leader of the people of KZN. 

"Mthembu's untimely demise has robbed us of a comrade, a brother, a confidant and cadre who had a sharp brain, a deep sense of humility and extraordinary leadership qualities. 

"He was one of the finest among us. In fact, speaking about him in the past tense will take a lot of getting used to. His passing has come as a complete shock to us, and brings home, in a most profound way, the cruelty of death."

READ: Tributes pour in following the passing of ANC KZN's Ricardo Mthembu

He says it is through Mthembu's efforts that KwaDukuza Municipality has become stable as he was at the forefront of promoting peace and ending taxi violence. 

"As the Chairperson of the Cooperative Government Portfolio Committee, Mthembu was very instrumental in turning around the state of Local Government in the province. 

"He fought tirelessly for the poor and underprivileged bringing lasting improvements in the lives of many residents," says Zikalala. 

KZN Cogta MEC, Sipho Hlomuka has also expressed condolences to Mthembu's family, colleagues and his party. 

"During this difficult time when the country and province battle against the spread of the novel coronavirus, we are shattered to lose one of our key foot soldiers, one who was at the forefront of ensuring that government's response to this virus is implemented speedily and effectively," says Hlomuka.

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