ANC stalwart dies

A group of men carrying the coffin bearing the remains of Templeton Mgxekeni out of his house in Nyanga, ahead of his last journey to Mthatha.

Templeton Mgxekeni, an African National Congress (ANC) stalwart and Ward 37 councillor, passed away last week, less than a year into his second spell as ward councillor.

Mr Mgxekeni died on Wednesday June 21, after having been ill for a couple of months.

The ward, which includes Nyanga, is expected to be transformed into a political battlefield when parties square up for the by-election to fill the now vacant councillor position.

Mr Mgxekeni served as a councillor between 1996 and 2006, before surrendering the reigns to David Tshambule.

After a 10-year-absence, in August last year he returned as councillor to replace Mzimasi Mangali. His death has come as a shock to many in his constituency as well as his family, with his children telling Vukani they were still in a state of shock.

His son Bongani described his father as a patriot who loved his people and his organisation.

In an interview with Vukani ahead of the body’s transportation to Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, on Friday June 23, Bongani said his father was the most humble man ever.

“He was not one of those who speak without producing results. In fact, he was more practical, a doer than a talker. He was loyal to the people he served. He always listened to them,” he said. “He was also loved by the people. He was always available for his community.”

Bongani said his father would always be remembered for his love for his children and help.

“He always encouraged us to get an education. He always told us to get as many qualifications as we possibly can. He was a father to many of us as youth. We will miss him as the most humble person,” he told Vukani.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille was among those who extended condolences to the family.

She said Mr Mgxekeni had served his people with distinction, while Mr Tshambule praised Mr Mgxekeni for his contribution in the struggle for liberation. “He was a great fighter. He was part of the underground units of the organisation. He used to operate with distinction. It is a pity that this term, he could not do much because of illness. But having said so, this man worked hard for Nyanga,” he said.

Mr Mgxekeni will be buried in Mthatha on Saturday July 2. He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

blob The date for the by-election has yet to be set.