The Sunday Mail
The body of national hero and former Cabinet Minister, Professor Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu, who died in South Africa last Wednesday is expected in the country on Tuesday, while burial has been tentatively set for Saturday at the National Heroes’ Acre.
A family spokesperson, Mrs Josephine Marufu, who is sister to the late hero’s wife Angeline, said most family members were still in South Africa where they are still sorting out paper work before they leave for Zimbabwe.
“When I spoke to my sister, she said they had not managed to do all the required paper work on Friday to ensure the body is brought to Zimbabwe on Monday. So she said they would resume the processes on Monday and be in the country probably by Tuesday,” said Mrs Marufu.
She said the family has provisionally agreed that Prof Ndlovu be buried on Saturday although it was subject to Government’s approval.
“Owing to this situation, and if there is no change of plans, she (wife) said he will be buried at the national shrine in Harare on Saturday. We are also expecting the children to arrive from America and Canada on Friday in time for the burial,” she said.
Prof Ndlovu, who at the time of his death was the Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson, was on Friday declared a national hero.
Prof Ndlovu( 83) died at NetcarePinehaven Hospital for Pancreatic Cancer in South Africa where he had been hospitalised.
The cancer had spread from the pancreas to his liver and he had begun chemotherapy on 8 February.
Prof Ndlovu was born on 9 February 1936
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in Plumtree, where he did his primary and secondary education.
He joined the National Democratic Party in 1960.
He trained as a teacher, enrolling for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Pius XII University College in Lesotho, where he became involved with Zapu in 1963 as chairman of the party’s residents and students branches.
At the university, Prof Ndlovu was also president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) from 1963 to 1964.
He was also publicity secretary of the National Union of Basutoland Students (NUBS) from 1964 to 1965.
Prof Ndlovu studied at the University of South Africa, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1965 majoring in History, Economics and Political Science.
He taught at Empandeni High School in Mangwe District, Mafakela Government School and Mpopoma High School in Bulawayo. While teaching at Mpopoma in 1966, he was detained by the Rhodesian regime, which felt that his influence among African teachers was not good for the regime.
Prof Ndlovu was released after 90 days and left the country in 1967 for New York University where he did his Masters and PhD studies.
During the course of his studies at New York University, Prof Ndlovu became involved with Zapu, and became the party’s chairperson in North America from 1967 to 1971.
He set up an office near the United Nations.
This was quite an important office for Zapu because the party coordinated most of its external relations outside Africa and the office in London, United Kingdom, depended on information from his office.
Prof Ndlovu also attended the Geneva talks as a political advisor in the Zapu delegation in 1976, as well as the Lancaster House talks on Zimbabwe.
For nine years up to 1980, he was a member of the Revolutionary Council and represented the party at the United Nations and North America.
Prof Ndlovu was a Zapu Central Committee member from 1980 to 1983 and the Bulawayo provincial chairperson of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) from 1984 to 1987.
He was a Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1985 and a Member of the Senate from 1985 to 1990.
At the same time he was an MP and Senator, he was appointed the Minister of Construction between 1982 and 1983 before he was appointed the Minister of Mines from 1983 to 1984. Between 1984 and 1989 he was the Minister of Industry and Commerce.
In 1990 he was an executive consultant with the Treger Group of Companies and a member of the Joint Private Sector Standing Committee to promote trade between Zimbabwe and Botswana and also worked as the chief executive officer at Calding Consultants (Pvt) Limited in 1991.
In 2000, Prof Ndlovu was a member of the Constitutional Commission of Zimbabwe. Prof Ndlovu also worked for the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (Zipam) for several years.
He was once chairman of the Board of Directors at NetOne and chairman of the Foundation Task Force of the Gwanda State University. At the time of his death, Prof Ndlovu was a member of the Zanu-PF Central Committee and Bulawayo provincial chairman.
Prof Ndlovu is survived by wife Angeline, several children and grandchildren.