Zweli and Dali

Published on August 8th, 2013 | by Diane Chidrawi

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TV: KZN Premiere Zweli Mkhize on People of the South on SABC3

Next Sunday 18 August on People of the South on SABC3 we focus on KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize. Join us as we trace his journey from teenage farm labourer to the highest post in the province where he was born. Follow his medical career in Durban and in exile in Swaziland and Zimbabwe, which also acted as a cover his underground work with the ANC and would later have to give way to the more pressing demands of politics.

Hear from him about the pain of coming back to a part of the country which was sometimes gripped by worse violence than seen during the days of apartheid, and the role Jacob Zuma played in bringing peace to the area. Find out what he thinks about having the highest approval rating of a premier in South Africa and walk with him and his son Dedani among their precious Nguni cows on his farm in Willowfontein.

Then join Mkhize and Dali for breakfast at the premier’s house in a small village in KwaZulu-Natal, be enchanted by his sharp and forthright wife Dr May Mkhize and two of his children, daughter Nokulinda and son Dedani, and find out what brings a man like Mkhize to tears at the end of the early morning feast.

Zweli Mkhize is the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and since December 2012, the Treasurer-General of the ANC. The sacrifices of his older brothers saw him accomplish what was denied many of his generation, when they paid for somebody else to replace him as a farmworker so that he could go to school instead.

his hardship on their part paid off as Mkhize went on to study further, first medicine and then surgery, and work as a doctor in Durban, and in Swaziland and Zimbabwe during his years in exile.

When he returned to KwaZulu-Natal, he played an active role in the promotion of peace and stability in the province, which was beset by violence and third force activities in the run-up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.

 He became the longest serving provincial MEC for Health in South Africa during 1994 and 2004 and went on to become the province’s MEC for Finance and Economic Development, with a focus on poverty alleviation and job creation. In 2004, the leadership of KwaZulu-Natal shifted from an IFP-led coalition to an ANC-led coalition, a development which would lead to the election of Mkhize in 2009 as the province’s premier.

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