CHILDREN of the late African National Congress (ANC) KZN provincial spokesman Ricardo Mthembu said they still don't believe that their father is gone for good.

His six children, five daughters and one son  said this during his funeral service that was held in KwaDukuza hall north of Durban today.

The funeral service was conducted under very strict lockdown regulations as family, close relatives and senior ANC leaders were allowed inside the hall.Mthembu's eldest daughter Thandeka Mthembu who was speaking on behalf of the children said she still cant accept that her father is dead. 

She said to her it still feels like a movie but hopefully at a later stage she will accept. 

"It is very hard for me to accept this. I was positive and hopeful that he will recover but when I heard the tragic news of his death I couldn't believe it," she said. 

ANC KZN spokesman Ricardo Mthembu

She said the last time she spoke with her father was two days before he died.

"We were in a car and had put him on speaker. The whole family spoke with him. He sounded well and thats why we were positive that he will recover," she said.

She then read a letter from their mother Zandile Mthembu.The letter read that: "My husband you left me unexpectedly. Thank you for everything you did for us as your family. May you please look after Anele, our child who is not well. I thought we were still going to be together for a long time."

Speaking on behalf of his brother Thabani Mthembu said:" My heart is sore. I've never cried so much. My brother was a helpful person and he taught us to help other people."

On behalf of Njabulo Ricardo Foundation Khulekani Shandu said from the foundation they learnt a lot from Mthembu. 

"We will continue his legacy. May his soul rest in peace," said Shandu.

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala said the fact that Mthembu died of Covid-19 was not hidden people will now that Covid-19 real. 

"Mthembu was a great leader indeed. He will be missed," said Zikalala.

Mthembu was laid to rest at Thembeni cemetery and only his family was allowed to go to the cemetery.

Mthembu was also member of the legislature serving as Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio committee chairman. 

He died of Covid-19 complications on Wednesday. 

He was in the intensive care unit at KwaDukuza private hospital for two weeks.

He has been a mayor and Ilembe regional chairman until last year where he was elected to the provincial legislature.