×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Politicians remember yoga-loving, rose-bearing and funny Buthelezi

EFF’s Ndlozi described Buthelezi as a ‘man of peace’ and urged his family and IFP members not to be disheartened by the negativity over the past week

Amabutho sing at the memorial service of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi.
Amabutho sing at the memorial service of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Political parties have described late IFP founder and traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as a “peaceful and patriotic” man who was fit, romantic and always showed his humorous side.

Representatives from the ANC, DA, EFF and Al Jama-ah were among those who shared their memories of the leader, who died at his home on Saturday.

They are among the hundreds of mourners who gathered at the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi sports complex in Ulundi’s M section, in northern KZN, for Buthelezi’s memorial service.

Pemmy Majodina, ANC MP and chief whip of parliament, said they learnt discipline and patriotism from Buthelezi.

“During Covid-19 he always logged in to meetings wearing a mask because he served this nation. Whenever he went out of the country, he never spoke ill of South Africa — he would embrace and defend the constitution of this country,” she said.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi described Buthelezi as a “man of peace” and urged his family and IFP members not to be disheartened by the negativity cast against him by some over the past week.

“Never be shaken by the ill-informed and ignorant people who are [saying] all types of [negative] things. Never be shaken by opportunists, hypocrites who want to educate us about our own history and a leadership that stabilised this country into a politically peaceful environment,” said Ndlozi.

The EFF learnt from the IFP in its formative years that it was possible to challenge the ANC, he said.

“We learnt from the IFP that it was possible to go toe-to-toe with the ANC — it was the only political formation that could do it — the hegemony, the dominance ... We knew it was possible.”

Ndlozi reiterated EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu’s message to IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa to encourage and maintain unity in the party.

IFP members arriving at the memorial for late leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi.
IFP members arriving at the memorial for late leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

DA councillor Swelakhe Shelembe said Buthelezi’s contribution to the Zulu nation and the country at large would be celebrated for generations.

Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi, wife of late Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi, said Buthelezi meant a lot of things to different people because he wore many hats. He was a “trustworthy” man who always paired his words with his actions and had always been there in his family’s times of need.

“When Mr [Amichand] Rajbansi passed on in 2011, he was the pillar of support to our family and to our party members. One of the letters I received recently when I lost my son and future daughter-in-law, a very long letter, was from Dr Buthelezi. He was always supportive of our struggles,” said Thakur-Rajbansi.

Every yoga day he would be lying near me doing all these yoga poses, and he would prove every time that he was fitter than me
Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi

Sharing some of their memories, Thakur-Rajbansi and Majodina said Buthelezi had a lighter side to him.

“He would not miss yoga day. Every yoga day he would be lying near me doing all these yoga poses, and he would prove every time that he was fitter than me at doing yoga. These are all the memories that we will treasure,” said Thakur-Rajbansi.

Majodina said male members of the IFP in the national legislature had one more legacy to live up to.

“On Valentine's Day, every lady in parliament received flowers. To IFP MPs, we demand to keep that tradition.”

Buthelezi will be laid to rest in a category 1 state funeral on Saturday.

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.