ANC mourns death of second EC speaker

Two ANC councillors in the Eastern Cape have died less than 24 hours apart from each other.

SIPHOKAZI NKELE

Engcobo council speaker Siphokazi Nkele died on Tuesday afternoon after a short illness, barely 24 hours after her Raymond Mhlaba counterpart Thozama Njobe was gunned down.

Nkele died at the East London private Hospital on Tuesday but her family did not disclose the illness.

ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane described the 42-year-old Nkele’s death as a great lost of yet “another cadre and dynamite of special talent and dedication to serving her people”.

Mabuyane yesterday led an ANC delegation to both Nkele and Njobe’s homes in Alice and Ngcobo respectively to relate their support as the party.

“It is sad for the ANC to lose two young and educated cadres who have dedicated their lives to the movement and the service of the people under the banner of the ANC when, with the qualifications they were armed with, they could have easily looked for comfortable jobs in the corporate sector,” he said.

Engcobo mayor Lizeka Tyali said Nkele’s death would be felt greatly by the municipality for she was “an energetic leader and a special asset to our municipality and its success”.

The ANC Chris Hani regional leadership has also sent its tributes, singing praises of Nkele’s participation in the ANC Youth League.

Nkele joined the ANCYL at an early age before she served in the Ngcobo sub-regional structure of the league.

She was deployed in Engcobo local municipality after the 2011 local government election as a portfolio head of finance.

“Under her leadership in that portfolio the municipality managed to get a clean audit opinion,” said Lusanda Sizani, the regional secretary of the party.

After last year’s local government elections, Nkele was deployed as the Engcobo local municipality council speaker.

Sizani said: “She served both mandates with a sense of responsibility and dedication and we are deeply saddened that she has left us during a very critical moment, where we needed cadres of her calibre to maintain stability in our local government.”

Family spokesman Thembela Nkele said they were “overwhelmed” by the messages of support.

The family was yet to decide on her funeral date. — zingisam@dispatch.co.za

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