The African National Congress (ANC) mayor in Ugu municipality, Tolomane Mnyayiza has died.
Mnyayiza died on Wednesday evening in hospital after a short illness. He was aged 44.
The deceased is credited for building the ANC through difficult times of violence in the south coast and for elevating the party’s status in society.
He was also said to have reached out to all societal groupings and ensured that the ANC would emerge as the undisputed and dominant political force after years of IFP rule in the region.
Prior to his shocking death, Mnyayiza rose through the ANC ranks and served as regional secretary of the ruling party for three consecutive terms.
In a statement released shortly after his death, the KwaZulu-Natal government said it’s still trying to accept Mnyayiza’s death.
“As the local government fraternity, we are still struggling to register the news of Mayor Mnyayiza’s demise. He was a committed community leader whose life was defined by his continued activism and his work amongst the many communities in the Lower South Coast Region.
“We are simply heartbroken. Just when we were hoping and praying for his recovery‚ God decided to take him away from us” co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said on Thursday.
Dube-Ncube added that the ANC and the country at large would be grateful for Mayor Mnyayiza’s wisdom‚ guidance‚ advice and continued dedication to the people of Ugu district.
ANC’s KZN spokesman Mdumiseni Ntuli‚ described the mayor’s death as a tremendous blow to the ANC and the country at large.
“He was a brilliant student activist with great leadership qualities. It was therefore not surprising that he was elected the first Chairperson of the ANC Youth League in the Lower South Coast Region,” Ntuli said.
Tolomane Mnyayiza graduated with a BA Degree and was busy with post-graduate studies at the time of his death.