Royal council chair Ntombi Muhlava described Chief Muhlava II as a good leader, committed community worker and a father.
A Limpopo clan is overcome by grief following the death of their traditional leader, who ruled over them for close to half a century. Chief Mpumulana Samuel Muhlava II of the Nkuna Traditional Council died on Saturday in the Tzaneen Medi-Clinic. He was 76. Royal council chair Ntombi Muhlava described Chief Muhlava II as a good leader, committed community worker and a father. He was the grandson of Hosi Muhlava I, a founding member of the ANC in 1912.
“Today the name of Hosi Muhlava is mentioned in the same breath as other big chiefs in the world because of the guidance and the direction he offered not only to his children, but to the entire nation,” said Muhlava.
“We are really empty and lost without him. His stance against corruption, inequality, tribalism and illiteracy resonates well with entire Limpopo populace. Through him, we have more than 40 proper schools that he built for his community, which produced world-class people,” Muhlava said.
The official funeral will be on Saturday. Popularly known as “The Mirror”, Chief Muhlava had been the traditional leader for more than 48 years and commanded love and respect among his people, as well as politicians, tycoons and religious organisations.
Prominent South Africans who hail from his area include current Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, former Limpopo premier and now Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale, and former public protector Lawrence Mushwana.
Moshe TshepoMatlala of Bridgeway near Lenyenye said: “I come from Mankweng outside Polokwane, but now I live here because this chief gave me this piece of land to build my house against the will of others, who said I was not welcome because I am a Pedi.”
Another resident, Tsakani Nkuna, said: “The chief has done so much to us. His funeral was supposed to be a joyous celebration. But because we respect the president and understand he is fighting for us, we will give his family space to lay him to rest.”
Mopani mayor Pule Shayi, who doubles up as ANC Norman Mashabane regional chair, said the province was poorer without Muhlava.