A FILE picture of Jabulani ’Mzala’ Nxumalo greeting ANC supporters at one of the rallies.
A FILE picture of Jabulani ’Mzala’ Nxumalo greeting ANC supporters at one of the rallies.

Family of ANC and SACP stalwart Jabulani “Mzala” Nxumalo express ‘shock’ over changing name of the party’s Zululand regional structure

By Willem Phungula Time of article published Nov 24, 2021

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DURBAN - THE family of the late ANC and SACP stalwart Jabulani “Mzala” Nxumalo say changing the name of the party’s Zululand regional structure named after him to appease IFP president emeritus Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi would be a betrayal of his fight for freedom and democracy in the country.

Phasha Nxumalo-Zitha, Mzala’s sister, told the Daily News this week that the family have learnt with shock that the ANC was considering agreeing to changing the name of the ANC region in Vryheid.

She said the family were against removing Nxumalo’s name in order to appease the former IFP president but they could not prevent the ANC from doing so if it decided to.

“Well, for now we hear about this from the media, but the ANC has not approached us. The family never asked for Mzala to be honoured but it was the ANC who came to us and we agreed.”

She added that Mzala took three siblings to exile to join the ANC and trained as Umkhonto we Sizwe. She had also wanted to go but had to remain behind to look after their parents. Nxumalo-Zitha said the family still lived in Ngoje village outside Vryheid where Nxumalo was buried.

After his death in London in 1991, his wife and two children moved to Johannesburg, where they currently live.

Nxumalo authored the book Gatsha Buthelezi: Chief with a double agenda in 1988. This irked Buthelezi and he went to court to prevent it from being published. What appeared to have angered Buthelezi more in the book was Nxumalo’s argument that he was not supposed to be called prince because it was his mother, Magogo Buthelezi, who was the daughter of King Dinuzulu.

The Daily News understands that Buthelezi does not mind being addressed as Mageba, which is a Zulu clan name.

In support of his argument, Nxumalo said Buthelezi’s position in the royal family was no different to Dr Pixley Seme, whose mother was also the daughter of king Dinuzulu and sister to Buthelezi’s mother, adding that Seme never referred to himself as a prince.

Before going into exile, Nxumalo was detained by the police for his participation in the 1976 student uprising against the apartheid decision to use Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools.

Last week, after Buthelezi and President Cyril Ramaphosa met, rumours spread that Buthelezi demanded Ramaphosa tell the ANC regional leaders to change the Mzala Nxumalo region if they wanted a coalition with the IFP.

Although Buthelezi denied that he used this as a condition for a coalition agreement, the issue came up at their meeting. The IFP has since refuted that it had made the renaming of the region a condition to the ANC.

Daily News

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