My heart is heavy as we mourn the loss of Mr Joseph Dududu Mkhwanazi, the former Administrative Secretary of the PAC. He was a remarkable leader and a man among men.
During our long liberation struggle, Joe Mkhwanazi was exiled for 30 years, but never forgot the cause of our country. He didn't settle for a new life somewhere else. His heart remained in South Africa. His life's work was for the country he loved.
Thus he became a stalwart of our liberation struggle, never giving up, never abandoning hope. It was difficult for all of us, both within South Africa and outside, to wait and wait and still keep faith. But Joe did, and for that I hold him in high esteem.
I thank God that he was able to return to South Africa and give his contribution of leadership to our fledgling democracy right from the start, in the KwaZulu Natal Legislature. He immediately began working to establish a strong democracy with the same fervour he had worked to secure it.
From the start, he worked well with the IFP, knowing that we shared a common vision and a common goal of peace, stability, prosperity and full liberation for all our people. Joe was one of those who understood that we had not arrived with the April 1994 elections. We had merely reached the starting line at last.
Born in Empangeni, he knew the challenges of KwaZulu Natal, but also the potential. Thus he never limited himself to politics, but became involved in every sector of society, giving his contribution of leadership to bring development, improvement, betterment and growth. He was always a force for good.
He, like many others, fostered a good working relationship across political divides, to the benefit of the people we all serve. The IFP will therefore mourn the loss of this great leader, and we offer condolences to the PAC and the Mkhwanazi family. May God comfort us all.