Durban — Political parties are among those who have wished Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi a happy birthday as he turned 95 years old on Sunday, August 27.
Buthelezi is the founder of the IFP and the Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu monarch.
IFP in KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Inkosi Ntandoyenkosi Shabalala said the party extends its warmest greetings and heartfelt wishes to Buthelezi on his 95th birthday.
“Today, we celebrate not only a milestone in age but also a life dedicated to the service of humanity. Prince Buthelezi's unwavering commitment to respecting every individual, regardless of background, has left an indelible mark on all of us. His infectious sense of humour has brightened countless lives and continues to bring smiles to our faces, Shabalala said.
“As we mark this remarkable day, we acknowledge that each passing year with Prince Buthelezi is a gift, a well of wisdom from which we draw inspiration daily. His leadership, spanning over seven decades, exemplifies the essence of true leadership, as he has consistently led from the front lines.
“On behalf of the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal and the entire Zulu Nation, we extend our warmest wishes to you, Shenge, on your 95th birthday. May this day be filled with joy, surrounded by loved ones, and may the years ahead continue to be a source of inspiration for us all,” Shabalala said.
The IFP in Gauteng extended well wishes to Buthelezi.
“Your Excellency, while current circumstances dictate that we cannot rejoice with you in person on your 95th birthday, we will not miss the opportunity to express our fondest birthday wishes. We are grateful for your life and health, which continue to improve,” IFP Gauteng chairperson Bonginkosi Dhlamini said.
Dhlamini said Buthelezi’s dedication to truth, integrity, and being a servant leader to the people continues to inspire many, within and outside the country. “To be as great a figure and still be committed to being of service to your people is a virtue that only a few individuals, like yourself, have perfected.
“We remain in awe of your endless wisdom and measured ability to be the voice of reason, even in the most difficult of times. You have taught us so much, and yet we still yearn to learn more from you, as you have always been a rich fountain of knowledge,” Dhlamini said.
“In honour of your 95th birthday, we wish to recommit ourselves to emulate your thoughtful and wise leadership. We will celebrate your birthday, in the best way you have taught us, by being dedicated to the service of others.
“With that said, we hope that this gesture fills your heart with love and joy. We wish you a wonderful 95th birthday and a speedy recovery that will allow us to celebrate your birthday with you in person soon,” Dhlamini said.
DA KwaZulu-Natal leader Francois Rodgers said that the party sends its heartfelt best wishes to Buthelezi on his 95th birthday and also wishes him a speedy recovery.
“Thank you for your dedication to South Africans and the role you continue to play to strengthen our democracy,” Rodgers said.
“We are hoping for a speedy recovery and safe return to your family.
“Unwele olude kuMtwana wakwaPhindangene!” Rodgers said.
The ANC in KZN also wished Buthelezi a happy 95th birthday.
ANC KZN secretary Bheki Mtolo said that although they hoped Buthelezi would celebrate the milestone at home with his family, they understood that he was still receiving treatment in hospital.
“As the ANC on this day, we join the family in celebrating the life of a father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” Mtolo said.
He also thanked the family for keeping the nation informed about his health.
“For our part, we would like to appeal to the people of this province, especially the leaders of faith-based organisations to pray for the full recovery of Umntwana waKwaPhindangene,” Mtolo said.
“Once again happy 95th birthday, Sokwalisa!!”
The Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation board expressed their heartfelt birthday wishes to Buthelezi.
“We celebrate a remarkable life of service and commitment to the cause of freedom, justice and peace. On the 95th birthday of South Africa’s champion, we pray for God's richest blessings for good health and much joy.
“Happy birthday, Shenge!” the foundation said.
UMhlathuze Municipality mayor Xolani Ngwezi and the council wished Buthelezi a happy and blessed 95th birthday.
The Mangosuthu University of Technology’s executive management, staff and students wished Buthelezi a blessed day.
“It is an honour and a privilege to have him as our founder His Excellency, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Happy 95th birthday!” the university said.
Days before Buthelezi’s birthday, the IFP was the first to wish him a happy birthday.
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, on behalf of all IFP members, conveyed heartfelt birthday wishes to Buthelezi.
“Shenge, as you reach yet another milestone in a life well-lived, marked by service to your fellow man and dedication to the many causes you believe in, we wish you good health, peace, and much happiness,” Hlabisa said.
“On behalf of the IFP, I would like to thank you, Shenge, for your leadership, your guidance, and the example you have set for all of us who wish to serve the people of South Africa. It is a great privilege for us as leaders of the IFP to be able to draw upon your wisdom.
“In your dedication to education, and to the environment, you showed yourself to be a man ahead of your time; a man who believes in investing in the future, to build a better country for the next generation. We who follow in your footsteps, will continue to champion these, and the many other causes that are close to your heart,” Hlabisa said.
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