Mkhize sent the “heartfelt” SMS about unity in the African National Congress to Mbalula at 9.08pm on Saturday, The Witness reported.
It read: “I will not speak for many. But my observation stems from the contradictions and how we handled things in the YL (ANC Youth League) when u comrades left (sic).”
Mkhize was a former ANCYL regional leader. Last year, he unsuccessfully contested the post of secretary general against Sindiso Magaqa, who has been suspended from the ANCYL for a year.
Mbalula is a former ANCYL president.
Mkhize was killed in a drive-by shooting in Manaba, Margate, around 10pm on Saturday.
According to the report, he also wrote in the SMS: “Other contradictions are informed by contest for space by former leaders of the YL within the ANC NEC. The stories and lies we fed as members to some of u in leadership further served to deepen the contradiction.
“But now Mbaks (Mbalula’s nickname) we are here. ANC and pipo beyond ANC need us united and focused. The more time we spend against each other the more we put our country in crisis. Am worried dat if we collectively don’t rise above what divide us, Mangaung (the ANC’s elective conference in December) will be worse than Polokwane (the ANC’s previous elective conference) and our movement and country will be at great risk.
“Mtchana I can (do) whatever I can to either bring JZ on board, or some senior leaders of KZN. Our movement lost the likes of (Jabu) Moloketi any many brains after Polokwane, we can’t afford to lose or sideline anyone anymore. We need u all.”
Mbalula’s spokesman Paena Galane told The Witness the minister was shocked to hear of Mkhize’s murder.
“The minister was shocked and disturbed when he heard that Wandile Mkhize was murdered, because he had just received the SMS from him shortly before that,” Galane was quoted as saying.