Zonke Khumalo is dead
LUDZELUDZE – Amos Zonke Khumalo, the erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, has passed on.
Khumalo’s demise was confirmed by his first wife Thoko, whose maiden surname is Dlamini, in an interview yesterday.
She said her 85-year-old husband succumbed to death while undergoing treatment at the Mbabane Clinic at about 10pm on Wednesday.
"We rushed him to the Clinic in a critical condition after the sugar levels in his body had dropped drastically," she said.
She said the family was still to meet to set the date for the funeral.
Khumalo, who has been bedridden for close to year, leaves behind five wives (initially, he had seven, but two have passed on) and over 30 children.
One of his wives, Princess Bonisiwe, is sired by King Sobhuza II.
King Sobhuza II appointed Khumalo as the kingdom’s second deputy prime minister in the early 70s.
He succeeded Mfundza Sukati, who was relieved of his duties by the King.
His Majesty King Mswati III, in the early 90s, appointed Khumalo as the Minister of Justice.
Khumalo, as Justice minister, was the architect of the once infamous Non-Bailable Offences Act.
The non-bailable offences included murder, rape and car (vehicle) theft.
Khumalo was the brains behind the crafting of the Act following the spate of murder and rape cases including car thieves who were on the rampage then.
The then Home Affairs Minister, Prince Gabheni around 2008, tasked Khumalo with the Chairmanship of the Citizenship Board (now defunct).
In his maiden speech as chairman, he uttered what was viewed as a highly xenophobic statement when he said Mozambicans should forget about acquiring the Swazi citizenship.
The statement drew the ire of some members of the public, who pointed a finger at the chairman, accusing him of being xenophobic.
The former DPM and Justice Minister also advocated strongly for the introduction of the Free Primary Education (FPE).
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