Ka-Magwaza-Msibi came from a family of strong women: Daughter

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The late National Freedom Party (NFP) leader, Zanele Ka-Magwaza-Msibi’s daughter Gugu Gumede says her family has had generations of strong women.

The NFP confirmed that Ka-Magwaza-Msibi died on Monday morning at the age of 59, after being hospitalised at Umhlanga Hospital in Durban.

At home, KaMagwaza-Msibi was a mother to her children.

“My family breeds very strong women and from my generation to my mom’s into the previous generation the women are very close and also men are very close, I was always very close to my mom,” says Gumede.

The year 2014 came with various changes for Ka-Magwaza-Msibi. Gumede says nothing can prepare anyone for a stroke.

“Not even around her, but across the country, there were people who saw that this woman cannot be broken easily. It was proven time and time again. So it was during the time period when she was continuing to grow, continuing to elevate and it just came from nowhere because an illness like that, I don’t think you get signs, but I mean –  for us as a family you never prepare yourself I guess for something like that.”

Ka-Magwaza-Msibi’s childhood friend, Nompumelelo Nkosi described her friend as someone who respected people from all walks of life.

“Actually she got that love for everyone. Which is something that is different from everyone that I have met. She loves everyone regardless of who you are and your profession. If you are a human being, to Zanele you are a friend,” says Nkosi.

Video: Family, friends pay tribute to Zanele Magwaza-Msibi


The life of Ka-Magwaza-Msibi

Ka-Magwaza-Msibi was born on February 1, 1962, spent most of her life as a politician.

The former school principal rose to prominence in the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) ranks before she formed her own party, the NFP, but to those who were very close to her, she was a woman full of love.

She was the first President of the NFP and made her presence felt in politics.

She joined the IFP as a teenager in 1975. Ka-Magwaza-Msibi grew up within the IFP. She first served as branch Chairperson in 1976. Thereafter, she joined the executive committee of the Youth and the Women’s Brigade 13 years later in 1988. She also served as deputy chairperson of the Youth Brigade between 1998 and 2003. Later she became the National Secretary of the Women’s Brigade.

Ka-Magwaza-Msibi was appointed as IFP mayor of the Zululand District Municipality in 2000 after the first local government elections in the new dispensation.

In 2005, she unsuccessfully contested the position of IFP Deputy National Chairperson, losing to Stanley Dladla. However, when the National Chairperson, Ziba Jiyane, left the party to form the National Democratic Convention, Magwaza-Msibi was put forward as a candidate and elected unopposed at the 2006 national conference.

The IFP’s dismal results in the 2009 general elections started a debate among party members about a change in leadership for the upcoming 2011 local government elections. IFP leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, had indicated in 2005 that he would not seek re-election.

The succession debate polarised the party between those supporting KaMagwaza-Msibi like the Youth Brigade and SADESMO, and old-guard leaders supporting General Secretary Musa Zondi, and those in the National Council advocating Buthelezi to remain leader to preserve unity.  Relations between Magwaza-Msibi and IFP leadership soured after her supporters began openly campaigning for her, with some being expelled from the party for sowing division in the party.

KaMagwaza-Msibi left the IFP and announced the formation of the NFP on 25 January 2011 in Durban.

The details of the funeral of Ka-Magwaza-Msibi have not been announced.

Video: IFP Spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa speaks about NFP Leader Zanele Ka-Magwaza-Msibi