‘Principled leader’ Nkele laid to rest

The late Engcobo local municipality council speaker Siphokazi Nkele was lauded as a principled leader who did not want corruption.

Nkele was buried yesterday at Nkondlo Village outside Ngcobo.

Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle, left, with cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Fikile Xasa at the funeral of Siphokazi Nkele at Nkondlo Village yesterday Picture: SUPPLIED

The 42-year-old politician died last week after a short illness.

Speakers at her funeral described her as a principled and no-nonsense member of the ANC who was passionately against corruption.

Speaking at the funeral yesterday, Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle said local municipalities faced different and unique challenges that can be best resolved by competent and qualified local people such as Nkele.

“Local municipalities are facing unique challenges and in those challenges only people who have been nurtured in these municipalities and understand these challenges, can come up with solutions that can benefit the local people,” said Masualle.

He said Nkele’s death was not only a loss to the ANC but government at large.

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Fikile Xasa used the podium to vent about President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward Zuma who is being investigated by the Human Rights Commission for his open letter to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom.

Zuma called Hanekom a “vile dog trained to maul black skin” while he said Gordhan “thinks African natives are no better than just being sugarcane cutters”.

“Anything that is against the unity of the African National Congress should be condemned; we are fixing a movement that has been destroyed on purpose.

“I was puzzled this morning when a character named Edward Zuma said when he sees comrade Hanekom, he sees an askari and when he sees comrade Pravin, he sees whatever he said he sees in the letter. People who are driving factional battles, should be dealt with,” said Xasa .

Xasa also spoke strongly about “flaws” of the deployment process of the ruling party, saying that they needed to be more vigilant when deploying.

“Parliament should assist us in the process of conducting oversight, we should be able to look at the speaker and know that ‘the speaker is not afraid’.

“If we were doing our jobs properly we would not be in this situation where we breed arrogant leaders,” said Xasa.

Masualle led a delegation of his MECs (including health MEC Phumza Dyantyi, transport MEC Weziwe Tikana), Andile Lungisa, the Eastern Cape legislature’s Bulelwa Tunyiswa and ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane.

Today, Raymond Mhlaba council speaker Thozama Njobe, who was shot dead last week, will be laid to rest in Fort Beaufort. — simthandilef@dispatch.co.za