Ugu mayor mourned

Ugu District Municipality mayor and ANC chairman Obert Tolomane Mnyayiza.

TRIBUTES to the late Ugu mayor and ANC chairman poured in at his memorial service held at Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre last Tuesday.

Councillor Obert Tolomane Mnyayiza (44) died last Wednesday in hospital after being ill for a while.

His death has hit both the ANC and Ugu hard, as he was a very respected senior leader.

During the service he was described as a staunch and committed leader who was very outspoken.

He died barely five months after taking over the reins from the previous Ugu mayor, Ntombifikile Gumede.

His colleagues described him as an eloquent and committed leader who was an advocate for the truth.

Cllr Mnyayaiza's brothers,  Sthembiso  and Siyabonga.

Cllr Mnyayaiza’s brothers, Sthembiso and Siyabonga.

Speaking at the service, municipal manager DD Naidoo said his death was a great loss to the municipality.

“He drew a clear line between politics and administration. He was always supportive and easy to work with,” said Mr Naidoo.

His comrades recounted memories they had shared with him.

ANC LSC regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi said Cllr Mnyayiza was brave.

“He died fighting for his life. A leader has fallen, he was never a populist but he was very disciplined and consistent.”

DA and IFP leaders also shared their thoughts about how courageous he was and how pleasant he had been to work with.

“He was a gentlemen who touched everyone’s heart; he spoke his mind with objectivity and was not afraid to tell the truth,” said DA councillor Leonard Ngcobo.

According to the ANC, Cllr Mnyayiza had been a brilliant student activist with great leadership qualities.

He was elected the second ANC Youth League chairman and had served as regional secretary for three consecutive terms before becoming chairman.

Apart from politics, Cllr Mnyayiza enjoyed taking part in karate and choral music.

He held a BA degree and was pursuing his postgraduate studies at the time of his death.

Ugu council will now have to decide on who will take the reins as new mayor, while the ANC will have to decide on who takes over as the new chairman.

According to the ANC constitution, the deputy chairman takes over until a general council or conference has taken place, at which a new chairman would be elected.

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