Zulu prime minister and Inkatha Freedom Party founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has died at the age of 95. His death was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday morning in a press statement. Part of the statement read, ” 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.
“Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been an outstanding leader in the political and cultural life of our nation, including the ebss and flows of our liberation struggle, the transition which secured our freedom in 1994 and our democratic dispensation.
“Prince Buthelezi, who served as the democratic South Africa’s first Minister of Home Affairs, passed away in the early hours of today, Saturday, 9 September 2023, just two weeks after the celebration of his 95th birthday.”
The president of the IFP and leader of the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal, Velenkosini Hlabisa, also released a statement on Buthelezi’s passing, saying, “… On behalf of the IFP, I offer condolences to His Majesty King Misuzulu kaZwelithini and the Zulu Royal Family on the loss of the Zulu nation’s long-serving traditional Prime Minister, who gave so much to strengthen the institution of the monarchy and ensure the recognition of the King.
“We also extend our sympathies to the Buthelezi Clan, whom Prince Buthelezi served as Inkosi for seven decades. This loss will be keenly felt by many, both among those who directly benefitted from Prince Buthelezi’s leadership and those who admired his example of servant-heartedness. …”