HEROES 4: Zweli Mkhize – The doctor who spoke straight to the people

Sizwe Sibiya

Doctor Zweli Mkhize has been a revelation this year; a true and competent leader emerging from an ANC that is producing a fair share of incompetent, corrupt and shady characters.

Of late, people like Ace Magashule and Jacob Zuma have dominated the leadership positions in the party.

It was therefore a welcome surprise to the nation when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that his Health Minister would lead and guide the implementation of the country’s strategy to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mkhize’s messaging to the country has been simple enough for a largely undereducated population and yet sophisticated enough to be home to some of the world’s leading health experts and researchers.

Unlike modern day ANC politicians, Mkhize has been honest about the dangers we face, and the weakness and strength of our strategy.

Most importantly he won the public over with his plea for everyone to ensure good hygiene even in villages that have never had clean drinking water.

Managing health pandemics has been his forte for the past two decades having worked with the World Health Organization in fighting a malaria outbreak in the Lebombo region and later a cholera outbreak in Northern KZN in the early 2000s.

To date over 24,000 people have lost their lives to Covid in South Africa – but it could have been a lot worse.