In the name of the Inkatha Freedom Party’s KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Caucus, which I lead, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family and colleagues from the African National Congress of the Provincial Legislature's Chair of Chairs and long-serving Member, Hon. SN Mtetwa who passed on unexpectedly a few days ago.
Hon. Sam Mtetwa was a man of integrity whose personal touch in the management of the Provincial Legislature's portfolio committees in his capacity as the Chair of Chairs made this institution a better place.
His impartiality often made his fellow Members of the Legislature forget their political differences and work towards their shared goal of improving the lives of the people of our province. His legendary humour never failed to smooth proceedings of the Legislature – no matter how complex the issue at hand or insurmountable the political divide appeared to be.
Personally, I have known the late Sam Mtetwa for more than two decades since his involvement in the local politics near Empangeni on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast prior to 1994. In all fairness I can say that I have always valued his convictions and principles even as we often differed politically. Politics aside, what made the late Sam Mtetwa tick was the plight of the poorest of the poor amongst our people whose suffering he felt as his own. In this sense, he was the ultimate product of the struggle for liberation and a pride of his political organisation.
The late Sam Mtetwa’s place was always among his people – in the deep rural areas and urban townships – where he took the Legislature’s outreach programmes with unmatched dedication and vigour. He was a community figure in the true sense of the word. It is this constituency which – apart from his family and colleagues – will miss him most now that he is no more. May he rest in peace!
By MB Gwala MPL, Leader of the Official Opposition, KZN Legislature