‘Buthelezi has served the country with honesty and integrity’ | Witness

'Buthelezi has served the country with honesty and integrity' | Witness

As the week of mourning commences and the South African flag will be flying at half-mast to observe the passing of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (95), tributes continue to pour in.

Buthelezi, who was affectionately known as Shenge and uMntwana kaPhindangene, died in the early hours on Saturday at home in Mahlabathini, KwaZulu-Natal.

His death resulted in the cancellation of the second leg of one of the most anticipated and celebrated events in the Zulu nation’s calendar, Umkhosi WoMhlanga (reed dance).

ALSO READ | King Misuzulu cancels reed dance in show of respect for Buthelezi

According to the Zulu King Misizulu kaZwelithini, the decision to cancel was taken as a sign of respect to the Zulu prime minister and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

Addressing Zulu maidens attending the first leg of the festival at the eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma on Saturday, King Misuzulu said the decision to cancel the second leg of the reed dance was taken to give the maidens space to mourn Buthelezi.

The provincial government also announced that he will be honoured with an official funeral, and Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said a team led by director-general Nonhlahla Mkhize was set up to arrange this.

Mkhize will ensure there is communication between the Buthelezi family and the provincial government.
Political parties expressed their heartfelt condolences.

The ANC in the province embarked on a journey to KwaPhindangene in the north of KZN yesterday to pay respect to the late prince at his homestead.

Many described Shenge as a leader who stood firmly by his views, had respect for everyone and was a leader of considerable stature.

ALSO READ | King Misuzulu cancels reed dance in show of respect for Buthelezi

His political party described him as a dedicated and principled person. IFP chief whip in the KZN Legislature and IFP national chairperson, Blessed Gwala said: “I worked with Prince Buthelezi from a tender age until his passing — in the same way my grand uncle, Sibabi ka Mgqibelo Gwala, worked with the Prince and Inkosi Mathole Buthelezi, as well as my great-great grandfather, Khilane Gwala, who served under Inkosi Mnyamana ka Ngqengelele Buthelezi.”

FF Plus leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald said Buthelezi was the only Zulu leader who had ever apologised for the murders and atrocities committed against the Voortrekkers.

“It demonstrates that he was a leader of good character who did not shy away from the truth. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has served the country with honesty and integrity. His father figure and guidance in parliament has always been one of his mastered tasks,” said National Freedom Party provincial secretary, Zandile Myeni.

AfriForum said it will remember Buthelezi for his integrity and commitment to find peaceful solutions to the complex coexistence challenge faced by cultural communities of South Africa.

South African film producer Anant Singh said Buthelezi was a great supporter of the creative arts, especially the film industry as he had a first-hand experience when he starred in the 1964 film, Zulu with Michael Caine.

“As a supporter of my work, he attended a number of my film premieres. I enjoyed having many robust discussions with him, and appreciated his wit and wisdom,” said Singh.

History and background

As a statesman, politician, traditional leader and Prime Minister to the Zulu Nation, Buthelezi has left an indelible imprint on the landscape of South Africa’s history, said the University of KwaZulu-Natal executive director of corporate relations, Normah Zondo.

Zondo said Buthelezi played a pivotal role in South Africa’s arduous journey to democracy. His political acumen and leadership contributed to the fight against apartheid, shaping the country’s transition to a democratic state.

ALSO READ | Buthelezi to receive official funeral

His advocacy for justice, equity, and freedom has secured him a venerated place in the annals of South African history. Indeed, any discussion of this nation’s past and its progress towards democracy would be incomplete without acknowledging his vital contributions. Among his most notable achievements in this sphere was the establishment of the Mangosuthu University of Technology, which fittingly bears his name.

“In 1974, while serving as the chief minister of what was then the KwaZulu government, Prince Buthelezi put forward the idea of creating a specialised institution focused on technical education.”

Source: https://www.citizen.co.za/witness/news/buthelezi-has-served-the-country-with-honesty-and-integrity/