By Ramudzuli Pfarelo
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a prominent figure in South African politics, has sadly passed away. His death occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 09 September 2023. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this somber news.
Born on August 27, 1928, in Mahlabathini, Natal (now known as KwaZulu-Natal), Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was widely recognized as the founder and long-time leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a significant political entity in South Africa.
Earlier in July, Buthelezi underwent a medical procedure to manage back pain. Unfortunately, complications arose following the procedure, leading to an extended hospitalization. His family released a statement confirming that Buthelezi passed away “quietly and painlessly.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences, saying, “I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, The Prince of kwaPhindangene, Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, and the founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party.”
Buthelezi played a vital role in shaping South Africa’s political landscape, particularly during the apartheid era. He staunchly opposed apartheid’s oppressive policies and advocated for the rights and interests of the Zulu people within the broader South African society as the leader of the IFP.
Throughout his illustrious career, Buthelezi held significant positions in the South African government, serving as Chief Minister of the KwaZulu bantustan and as the country’s Minister of Home Affairs. His contributions were instrumental in the negotiations that led to South Africa’s transition to democracy.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s legacy will be remembered for his tireless efforts to promote peace, reconciliation, and the advancement of South Africa. In 2019, he retired from active politics after serving as a Member of Parliament for over four decades. His passing is deeply mourned by his family, friends, and the entire nation of South Africa, who are extending their heartfelt condolences. Plans for his farewell are currently underway, and further details will be announced in due course.