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New eThekwini mayor an ANC sweetheart

Cyril Xaba, 57, the newly elected ANC mayor of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality, has been a favourite with the party since its leaders returned from exile and held their first national elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal.

This was evident when the late Nelson Mandela stood in for Xaba’s parents and attended his graduation ceremony at the then-University of Durban-Westville.

Xaba’s graduation occurred at the same time as the ANC’s first national elective conference in Durban, which saw many exiled party leaders return to KZN for the first time after the organisation’s unbanning by then-state president FW de Klerk.

Born in KwaZulu-Natal in 1967, Xaba holds a Master’s in Law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is known as a versatile leader, having served in key positions as both a government official and an advisor.

Among his roles, Xaba was the ANC’s chief whip in the KZN legislature. He was later appointed as the economic adviser to former premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, surprising many ANC leaders who had hoped Mkhize would give him a ministerial position in his cabinet.

Xaba was also instrumental in the ANC’s national deployment plan and led the Planning Commission in KZN.

When Senzo Mchunu became premier of KZN, he appointed Xaba as the Agriculture MEC.

However, in 2016, Xaba was unexpectedly removed from this position.

“I was about to get out of my official vehicle as the programme director introduced me as a champion of development when I received a call that I should bring back state vehicles and bodyguards because I had been fired as MEC,” Xaba recalls.

“I had to go back to the car and drive fast to my home in Westville. The programme director had to explain to the waiting communities and local traditional leaders about my sudden disappearance.”

In 2019, Xaba was appointed a member of the National Assembly, where he chaired the defence portfolio committee.

In 2011, he was nominated to be the mayor of eThekwini, but ANC infighting prevented him and Dr Makhosi Khoza, tipped to become city manager, from being elected.

Pictured above: Newly elected eThekwini metropolitan municipality mayor Cyril Vusimizi Xaba.

Source: Supplied