Buthelezi shares his heartache

IFP LEADER Mangosuthu Buthelezi yesterday urged South Africans to always be kind to those infected with HIV-Aids.

Buthelezi was visiting Ceza Hospital in KwaCeza, near Ulundi, as part of the International World Aids Day campaign.

He is one of a few high-profile politicians to publicly reveal that two of his children, Prince Nelisuzulu and Princess Mandisi, died of Aids in 2004.

During yesterday's visit, he went from ward to ward, sharing his personal experiences with the patients, encouraging those with HIV to live a healthy lifestyle.

Buthelezi said it was nonsensical to engage in risky behaviour that "endangers yourself, your partner and possibly your children".

"If anyone can accept the risk of HIV for the sake of a few moments of pleasure, I doubt that they are mature enough to be engaging in sexual activities in the first place."

Buthelezi said in Zulu culture it was still difficult to talk about HIV-Aids.

"When I spoke openly about my son and my daughter who died of this disease, people congratulated me on my courage.

"I don't think it took courage to speak.

"I think it takes courage to go against the flow of sexual immorality that pervades youth culture today; and to say no."