Former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) national chairperson, Dr Frank Mdlalose, who died from Covid-19 complications has been granted official state funeral.
The announcement of the state funeral was made on Monday by current provincial premier Sihle Zikalala after he led a delegation to mourn Mdlalose’s passing at his Newcastle home.
The 89-year-old Mdlalose succumbed to Covid-19 on Saturday. At the time of his passing, he had retired from politics.
Mdlalose’s political career took him first to the ANC (before the Inkatha Freedom Party, which he joined in 1979, was formed with the blessing of ANC leaders) and later the DA.
After the historic 1994 elections, the IFP assigned him to be premier and he had to work with ANC MECs as the interim constitution required that, for national unity purposes, all major parties with sizeable seats be represented in national and provincial government.
Among the MECs he worked with was Jacob Zuma, who was serving as MEC for economic development.
Speaking to the media after visiting the Mdlalose family in Madadeni township in Newcastle, northern KZN, Zikalala said President Cyril Ramaphosa had agreed to the provincial government’s request for a state funeral.
"We would like to thank the president for granting and confirming our (provincial government) request to honour him (Mdlalose) with a state funeral. We are truly grateful to the president for that. We cannot do enough to honour Mdlalose," he said.
We paid our sincere respects to the family of the late former Premier of KZN, Dr Frank Mdlalose. #RIPDrMdlalose pic.twitter.com/qiIikkYlta— Premier Sihle Zikalala (@sziks) April 5, 2021
The date and venue of the funeral are not yet known.