KZN hospital renamed after struggle stalwart Gizenga Mpanza

Durban – The Stanger Regional Hospital on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal was officially renamed after struggle stalwart General Justice "Gizenga" Mpanza on Thursday in Groutville. 

“We are happy to have finally reached such a milestone in restoring the history of a liberated KwaDukuza, just two days before the official commemoration of 25 years of our freedom as a nation," said KwaDukuza Local Municipality mayor Ricardo Mthembu in an emailed statement.  

He described the late Mpanza as "a gallant Umkhonto weSizwe army general who was part of a generation that was imprisoned on Robben Island for 15 years. As a selfless leader he stood for free and better health systems, education, social justice, equality and just land restitution". 

By renaming the hospital, a "distorted history" had been righted, said Mthembu. 

He said Gizenga stood for "most of the things" that the South African constitution prescribed and was the first ANC leader to launch a branch when it was not popular to do so. 

MM - KZN hospital renamed after struggle stalwart Gizenga Mpanza
KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu with KZN health MEC, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Maphumulo mayor Matozi Khuzwayo-Dlamini and ILembe District Municipality mayor, Sduduzo Gumede. Picture: Supplied

"It is a fitting tribute that we have named such a gigantic institution after a selfless leader who sacrificed his life to the struggle and to lead in local government as a public representative. I hope that all stakeholders associated with General Gizenga Mpanza Hospital will continue to ensure that services offered are of high quality and further position this hospital to become one of the first pilot sites of the National Health Insurance System.”

Gizenga was from the Groutville area. He joined the ANC in 1952 during the defiance campaign and was imprisoned at Robben Island from 1973 to 1988. Mpanza died in 2002 at the age of 65. He was a councillor with iLembe District Municipality at the time of his death.

MK - KZN hospital renamed after struggle stalwart Gizenga Mpanza
uMkhonto WeSizwe military veterans stood guard throughout the ceremony. Picture: Supplied

African News Agency (ANA)

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