Durban — The Mangosuthu University of Technology management (MUT) has suspended its academic activities in honour of its departed founder and traditional Zulu prime minister, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The institution said it was suspending the activities, including the student representative council election that was supposed to be held on Thursday.
Vice-chancellor Professor Marcus Ramogale said it was important to suspend the activities, including SRC elections, to allow students and staff to mourn the passing of the university’s founder.
The institution said it would hold its memorial service on Thursday.
Ramogale said that each time they had met Buthelezi, they had marvelled at how he related the history of South Africa and that of the Zulu nation.
Ramogale described him as a fantastic storyteller.
“We will always remember him for that. He was the founder of our university. When he was released from a hospital in Durban, we got some relief and we were all looking forward to be with him, and continue listening to his wise words.”
He said Buthelezi would also be remembered for the foresight he had for the future of the country. Ramogale recalled Buthelezi’s efforts at showing what the future of South Africa should look like, so that its people could enjoy freedom from the bondage of apartheid.
Buthelezi would be remembered for the KwaZulu-Natal Indaba project, with which he had shown how South Africa could be accepted by all nations.
“If you look at the structures that govern the country, they show exactly what Buthelezi was showing us. Such an effort called for bravery, for determination, for true leadership, for friendship, for unselfishness, for the real necessity to invest properly for the future,” Ramogale said.
Chancellor Sandile Zungu, who is also the owner of Amazulu Football Club, in paying tribute in both capacities, said he was saddened to hear of Buthelezi’s death.
While chief minister of the then-KwaZulu government, Buthelezi had gone all out to source funding for the establishment of the university to cater for black students because they were not allowed in the previously all-white universities under apartheid. One of the business interests Buthelezi approached for funding was the diamond and gold mining Oppenheimer family. They acceded to the request.
Buthelezi, who founded the IFP in 1975, will be laid to rest on Saturday.
The IFP will host a National Memorial Service to honour the life and legacy of Buthelezi at the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Regional Sports Complex Practice Pitch in Ulundi on Wednesday.
The presidency and KwaZulu-Natal provincial government have yet to announce whether he would be honoured with a state funeral.
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