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Oppenheimers to attend Buthelezi's funeral, says his son at MUT service

IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli and Mangosuthu Buthelezi's son Ntuthukoyezwe Buthelezi at the MUT memorial
IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli and Mangosuthu Buthelezi's son Ntuthukoyezwe Buthelezi at the MUT memorial
Image: Mfundo Mkhize

Members of the Oppenheimer family will attend the funeral of IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

This was confirmed by Buthelezi's son, Prince Zuzifa Ntuthukoyezwe Buthelezi, who was speaking at a memorial service at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) on Thursday.

“On my way to this gathering I received a message from the family, confirming their attendance,” said Buthelezi.

Buthelezi, 95, died at his home in Ulundi in the early hours of Saturday morning. A special category 1 funeral has been planned for Saturday, which is expected to bring the northern KwaZulu-Natal town to a standstill.

Speaking at the memorial, Zuzifa Buthelezi expressed gratitude for the tributes his family had received.

“Yesterday, a delegation of more than 17 people came to our home to pay respects to my father,” said Buthelezi.

He said owing to his father’s towering public profile, his family, including his mother, had often felt left out.  But he said there were many lighthearted moments with his father during his formative years at the prestigious Inkamana boarding school in Vryheid.

“Some of you may recall that on Sundays there were times set aside for writing letters. On one particular day I had lots of letters to write and ended up mixing them up. A letter to my girlfriend went straight to my father, while the letter to my dad went to her.”

The young man received a tongue-lashing from his father, who commented, “No wonder you're doing badly at school,” said Buthelezi, to the amusement of the mourners.

But he hailed his father’s love of education, which led to him receiving a string of qualifications.

Buthelezi is credited with having founded the university in 1979, with 15 students. To date the institution boasts more than 14,000 students and 42,000 graduates across three faculties.

Vice-chancellor Prof Marcus Ramogale delivered the eulogy. He said teaching and learning there had not been marred by the student unrest that has been a feature at other institutions of higher learning.

Ramogale said the university would forge ahead with plans to continue to honour Buthelezi's legacy. He said a special project would be undertaken.


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