Family of fallen KZN ANC official refute claims of 'lockdown party' linked to his death
The family of the late ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson and former KwaDukuza mayor, Ricardo Mthembu, have refuted claims that he had attended a surprise birthday party shortly before contracting Covid-19, which he died from on Wednesday.
In a statement on Friday, Mthembu's family said they had noted with sadness and disbelief the sensational claims relating to a video which has been circulating on social media.
It was alleged that the video was of a surprise party thrown for Mthembu and that it showed a number of people chanting and dancing without practising any social distancing or wearing masks.
However, the family said the video was old, and that the fact that it was linked to Mthembu's death despite him not being in the video, was highly disturbing.
“We wish to place it on record that the video in question was shot at a private suite in Moses Mabhida Stadium after the game between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates which took place in November last year. At the time there were no Covid-19 regulations which explains why nobody is wearing a mask and not keeping to social distancing.”
The family requested that people respect them during their time of mourning.
“Such unfounded claims only serve to add bad taste at the time when the family is already dealing with unbearable pain. They are also causing unnecessary distraction to the challenging task of preparing for a dignified send-off for Mvelase under the current circumstances.”
Mthembu's funeral is expected to take place on Saturday at the KwaDukuza Town Hall with only the immediate family and selected ANC members expected to attend.