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South Africa Bids Final Adieu to Veteran Politician and Zulu Chief, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

South Africans from various walks of life- political, cultural, and traditional- converged over the weekend to say their final goodbyes to the iconic Zulu Prince and veteran political stalwart, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The Prince's body was transported from the local mortuary to his family home in preparation for the state funeral on Sunday.

Buthelezi, a venerated figure in the political landscape of South Africa, passed away on September 9 at the ripe age of 95. He was known for his leadership roles as the Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch, the Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The party, under his leadership, witnessed South Africa's deadliest violence ahead of the first all-race elections.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in his statement, expressed his deep condolences over the demise of Buthelezi. The President recognized Buthelezi's significant contributions to South Africa's cultural and political life, acknowledging his indispensable role during the nation's tumultuous journey towards liberation and eventual freedom in 1994.

The Zulu monarch, Misuzulu Zulu, witnessing the passing of Buthelezi whom he greatly admired and respected, said the ensuing days would be a challenge for him to sleep, given their close interpersonal relationship. This sentiment was shared by not just royalty but by all who had crossed paths with the late prince.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, born of royal lineage on August 27, 1928, was a respected Zulu entity full of pride and zest. Noted for his longstanding rivalry with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Buthelezi eventually parted ways to establish the IFP in 1975, leading the party till he was 90. His passing undoubtedly marks the end of an era in South African politics.

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