President Peter Mutharika who left the country on Friday has delegated Minister of Education Science and Technology Bright Msaka to represent him at the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a heroine of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa but also one of its most controversial figures.
The President, who was accompanied to by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano, opted for Msaka the one being tipped to the presidential running mate in the upcoming 2019 tripartite elections replacing Saulos Chilima.
Msaka on Saturday represented the Malawi leader at a funeral ceremony in Soweto where South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, dignitaries from around the continent and many of South Africa’s most famous political and cultural figures joined rank and file members of the ruling African National Congress and well-wishers from around the the rainbows nation.
Former Malawi leader Joyce Banda was also seen at the funeral seating with former South Africa Thabo Mbeki And his wife behind Msaka who was seating close to immediate past president Jacob Zuma.
The President was in South Africa on Saturday encounter to London. He leaves Johannesburg Sunday evening for UK.
At the funeral, shouts of “Long live Comrade Winnie”, “the struggle continues” and “power to the people” rang out around the stadium on Saturday throughout a powerful and emotional service to the activist, politician and former wife of Nelson Mandela
Madikizela-Mandela’s casket, draped in the South African flag, was transported from her home to the stadium in the same hearse that had carried the remains of icon Nelson Mandela, her former husband .
On behalf of the Malawi leader, Msaka signed a condolence book.
Nyasa Times impeccable source also revealed that Msaka was seen as the only influential figure who can run with Mutharika considering that ‘they suffered together when they were arrested during Joyce Banda reign for treason’.
Msaka served as Chief Secretary to the Government during the late Bingu Mutharika reign and was maintained on the same position during the early days of President Joyce Banda until his arrest.
He comes from Yao land, Liwonde in Machinga and is a Mang’anja by tribe.
Before joining politics, Msaka served in the diplomatic missions in Canada and United Kingdom during the Bakili Muluzi reign. He is a lawyer by training.
In the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Msaka is Vice-President for Eastern RegionFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :