|Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi
|Author, Politician, Activist
|Date Of Birth/Age:
|27 August 1928 95 Years Old)
Died 9 September, 2023
|Place of Birth:
|Married (to the late Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila)
|University of Fort Hare
Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, known simply as Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is a South African politician, former anti-apartheid crusader, member of parliament and traditional prime minister to the Zulu royal family.
In his younger years, he was a leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, which was deeply involved with the anti-apartheid struggles of decades ago. At the moment. he now faces traditional duties as prime minister to the Zulu Royal family. He is also a member of the South African parliament.
Born in August 1928, Mangosuthu Buthelezi is currently 94 years. He will be 95 in a couple of months. That moment is expected to be one of sobriety for the statesman and a wild celebration for those close to him.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi was born into a Zulu royal family and had the title of prince automatically. He stood out for his opposition to the apartheid government and clamour for the release of Nelson Mandela. Given his advocacy, his Inkatha Freedom Part soon became one of the most prominent in South Africa.
Although not much is heard of the movement these days, it remains a singularly important force in South Africa’s political history. Although said to have retired from mainstream politics, Mangosuthu Buthelezi is still a stateman who travels within South Africa and beyond in the spirit of ubuntu and for national and continental development.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi lives in South Africa where he was born, but it is unclear exactly where his crib is and what it looks like.
He might not be the most educated politician out there, but Mangosuthu Buthelezi has made so much impact in South Africa’s political universe that it would be impossible to write South Africa’s p[olitical history encapsulating apartheid and the struggle against such monstrosity without somehow including his name.
He is known to have attended the Impumalanga Primary School at Mahashini in Nongoma between 1935 and 1943, and then Adams College at Amzinoti, from where he attended the University of Fort Hare.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi married Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila in 1952. The two remained married until her death in 2019. The relationship produced several children who are alive and thriving to this day.
Besides politics, Mangosuthu Buthelezi also delved into the world of writing. Most of his writing dwelled on nationalism and politics, the South African struggle and other issues affecting the Rainbow Nation.
Some of the titles he is known to have co-written include “The Washing of the Spears: A History of the Rise of the Zulu Nation Under Shaka and Its Fall in the Zulu War of 1879,” “The Anglo Zulu War – Isandlwana: The Revelation of a Disaster,” and “Zulu Victory: The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-up.”
Mangosuthu Buthelezi is one of the oldest South African politicians alive and also, in a sense, one of the richest. Of course, at his age, he would not be dragged into conversations of net worth. But the public has been doing the talking, with conservative estimates ranging from $5 million to $25 million.
Children & Grandchildren
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the former leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, is father to Zuzifa Buthelezi, Letghuxolo Buthelezi, Mandis Buthelezi, Sibuyiselwe Angela Buthelezi, Phumzile Buthelezi and Benedict Buthelezi.
Some of these names might not resonate with many members of the public, but most have certainly heard about his grandchild, Toya DeLazy, and electronic music artist and granddaughter of the celebrated politician.
South Africa recently witnessed the state funeral of Zulu prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a significant yet contentious figure in the nation’s history. Held in Ulundi, the ancient Zulu capital, thousands of mourners, some donning traditional Zulu warrior headbands, convened to pay their respects to the leader who passed away at the age of 95.
Buthelezi, the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), was a dominant presence in South African politics for decades. His leadership, however, was marked by a tumultuous relationship with the African National Congress (ANC). This rivalry culminated in violent confrontations between supporters of the two factions, leading to the tragic loss of approximately 12,000 lives in the years leading up to the 1994 democratic elections.
Despite the animosity, Buthelezi’s role in South African politics cannot be understated. He served as the premier of the “independent” homeland of KwaZulu, a position that often saw him labeled as an ally of the apartheid regime. Allegations of his collaboration with the white government to incite violence and hinder the ANC’s liberation efforts were persistent, though Buthelezi vehemently denied such claims.
In a twist of fate, after a last-minute decision, Buthelezi joined the national unity government led by Nelson Mandela, serving as the home affairs minister. His political journey, spanning several decades, made him one of the longest-serving politicians in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who delivered the eulogy at the funeral, acknowledged Buthelezi’s significant contributions, stating, “Buthelezi has been an outstanding leader in the political and cultural life of our nation.” However, the president also emphasized the importance of unity and looking forward to a harmonious future.
The funeral was not just a somber occasion but also a vibrant display of Zulu culture. Many attendees wore traditional Zulu outfits, and the event was marked by singing, dancing, and rituals that celebrated Buthelezi’s life and legacy.
While Buthelezi’s contributions to the struggle against apartheid and his role as a champion of the Zulu people are undeniable, his legacy remains a topic of debate. To some, he epitomized the Zulu spirit, while to others, he was a controversial figure whose actions often bordered on authoritarianism. As South Africa reflects on the life of this influential leader, the nation grapples with the complexities of his legacy and its impact on the country’s history.