Zuma pays tribute to Zondi

ANC President Jacob Zuma described the late Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi as a democrat at his funeral on Saturday.

Speaking in uMsinga, KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma said: “He [Zondi] understood that being an Inkosi meant that he had to work with all people regardless of their political affiliation.”

“Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi understood the importance of consultation and engaging in democratic practices, he put emphasis on reaching decisions by consensus by involving different stakeholders in his community. In short, he was a democrat,” Zuma said.

Zondi—the grandson of Bhambatha Zondi who became known for the Bhambatha Rebellion in 1906 against the introduction of a poll tax, was shot dead in Umlazi while driving along Stimela Avenue on January 22.

His Toyota RunX was riddled with bullets and police found 50 spent AK-47 cartridges at the scene.

“He was a traditional leader who was steeped in [the] democratic ethos.
Whoever was responsible for taking his life had an agenda to derail this peace and stability project that was beginning to prosper in the greater uMsinga area,” Zuma said.

Hailing Zondi as a peacemaker who brought development for his community, Zuma encouraged peace and calm, saying: “This is what Nondaba [Zondi] would have advised us to do.”

“He was opposed to faction fights and violence as a way of resolving disputes and worked very hard to stop them. We applaud our people in this area for the peace and calm that has prevailed so far. We appeal for calm and restraint.

Zuma said the law enforcement agencies should deal with the investigations and track down the killers, adding uMsinga was known as an area where wars of retaliation and revenge had been fought.

“Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi was also a great advocate of development and progress in his area. He was also a warrior in the field of new ideas meant to advance his people and take them away from underdevelopment and ignorance,” he said.

“We will continue with the good work that Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi started in this district, and for the good of the whole country. We will continue with the development of rural areas. We will continue with the process of land redistribution and implementing agrarian reforms,” Zuma said. - Sapa

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