Durban — Staunch supporters of the IFP consisting of residents of Ward 89 in Umlazi, popularly known as T section or “17’’, paid tribute to the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Sunday.
Bedecked in traditional IFP regalia, they walked through Umlazi, to the Mangosuthu University of Technology and then along Mangosuthu Highway until they reached King Zwelithini Stadium.
This ward, in Umlazi, south of Durban, was known and still is an IFP stronghold dating back to pre-1994.
Chairperson for the IFP Youth Brigade in the ward, Khethi Ndebele, said the march was their way of mourning their great leader.
“We are very saddened by the passing of our great leader, uShenge. We will have to cling to the good memories we have of him and continue with his legacy. We are very lucky to have experienced his teachings while he was still alive and we promise to carry on with his teachings,” said Ndebele.
She explained why the flag was held upside down during their march.
“It is our sign of mourning; the head must face down to portray our sad state,” she said.
Sifiso Ndimande who is chairperson of the ward, also known as Sokesimbone branch, said they had initially planned to do something on Saturday, but later changed to Sunday morning.
“It is a huge blow for us to lose the founding member of our party. We are in mourning together with the Buthelezi family and the nation as a whole.
“We are here in Ward 89 because of him who gave us this place to stay,” Ndimande said.
He said they decided to visit the places founded by Buthelezi, like the MUT and the highway named after him.
“We are now waiting for the full details of his burial. We will organise ourselves and arrange transportation to be present during the funeral and lay him to his final resting place. This man played a huge role in our lives,” said Ndimande.
Thandi Ntshiza of the IFP Women’s League said Buthelezi’s death had left a gaping hole in the party.
“As much as we are not okay, there is nothing we can do about God’s will. For this to happen exactly on the day of the Reed Dance should mean something,” she said.
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