Businessman Don Mkhwanazi dies

Mkhwanazi was one of the founders of The Friends of Jacob Zuma Foundation, in which business people and supporters of the president helped fund his rape trial defense. (Dean Hutton)

Mkhwanazi was one of the founders of The Friends of Jacob Zuma Foundation, in which business people and supporters of the president helped fund his rape trial defense. (Dean Hutton)

The ANC has paid tribute to prominent businessman and a close ally of president Jacob Zuma, Don Mkhwanazi who died from a heart attack on Friday night.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement on Saturday the party was saddened by Mkhwanazi’s passing and that his death was a great blow to the party as he was an active and dedicated member.

“With the passing of Cde. Don we have lost a pioneer and committed activist – who will be remembered for paving the way for countless numbers of aspirant black businesspeople, and radically transforming the heavily racialized business landscape in our new democracy.

“The African National Congress extends its condolences to the Mkhwanazi family and prays for them to have strength during this difficult time,” said Kodwa.

Mkhwanazi was the founder of the Black Management Forum and instrumental in driving the agenda of economic transformation.

Mkhwanazi is also remembered as one of the founders of The Friends of Zuma Foundation, in which business people and supporters of the president helped fund his rape trial defense.

Mkhwanazi held various positions in the ANC and is well-respected for his business acumen, having also served as senior economic advisor for the party. He also worked closely with former president Thabo Mbeki and was chairperson of the Apartheid Debt Coordinating Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He was also a former member of the Transnet board.

The 63-year old Mkhwanazi was born in Durban and operated most of his businesses within the Kwazulu-Natal province.

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