Former Prime Minister of KwaZulu-Natal Dr Frank Mdlalose has been praised for his contributions to the South African political landscape following his death from Covid-19.
IFP, of which Mdlalose was a founding member, announced his death on Sunday.
He died of a Covid-19 related illness at the age of 89. He leaves behind his children and his wife, who is currently fighting the virus in hospital, the party said.
IFP said in a statement that Mdlalose was an exceptional servant to the country.
Mdlalose had been prime minister of the newly renamed province of KwaZulu-Natal after the 1994 elections until 1997.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP and founder of the IFP, said Mdlalose had also served as the party’s national president and served as interior and then health minister.
“During the constitutional negotiations, he became one of the main negotiators of the IFP and was our country’s champion for federalism and the creation of provinces,” said Buthelezi.
“I am grateful to have served our country alongside a leader of his caliber and maintained a friendship with him long after our political work together has ended.”
Mdlalose was also Ambassador to Egypt.
Current KZN Prime Minister Sihle Zikala praised Mdlalose for his work in negotiating peace between the ANC and the IFP with former ANC chairman Jacob Zuma in 1991.
“Dr Mdlalose was a leader with eyes fixed firmly on the masses of our people and crossing the party line. He firmly believed that peace was a necessary condition not only for the success of national and provincial elections, but also for the socio-economic development of the people of the province. “
He added: “Dr Mdlalose will be remembered for his leading role as leader and negotiator in the Codesa negotiations which took place at Kempton Park and ultimately resulted in the 1994 elections.”
Zikalala also said that Mdlalose was a leader with eyes fixed firmly on the masses of our people and extending beyond the party line.
Mdlalose was born in Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal in 1931r. He ran a branch of the ANC Youth League. He then joined IFP when it was created in 1975.
The prosecutor said Mdlalose worked well with the party while he was prime minister.
DA KZN MPL Francois Rodgers said: “The DA enjoyed a good working relationship with Mdlalose, during his tenure as Prime Minister, as he strived to include all parties in the post-apartheid regime. the DA in his provincial cabinet under the position of president of education. Dr Mdlalose has served the province well and his counter during his tenure and his passing is a great loss. “