Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s family say it’s not true that the new prime minister is the prince’s son

The late IFP founder and longest-serving Zulu prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi with Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Supplied

The late IFP founder and longest-serving Zulu prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi with Zululand District Municipality mayor Thulasizwe Buthelezi. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 31, 2024


Durban – The late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s family have issued a statement correcting the false narrative regarding the legacy of the prince following the appointment of Thulasizwe Buthelezi, mayor of the Zululand District Municipality, as King Misuzulu’s new prime minister.

The family provided a list of the names of the children of Prince Buthelezi and his wife, the late Princess Irene Thandekile Buthelezi.

Last Saturday, during the commemoration of the Battle of Isandlwana, King Misuzulu also, for the first time, appointed a deputy prime minister, a position that went to Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza.

While others criticised the appointment of a politician to the position, others saw nothing wrong with it.

In the statement, family spokesperson, Dr Bhekuyise Ngqengelele Buthelezi, said the family had been deeply distressed by a false narrative that had emerged regarding the newly appointed prime minister.

Dr Buthelezi said this had marred the king’s announcement and redirected public attention in an attempt to rewrite the legacy of the late prime minister.

“We are therefore compelled to correct the false narrative that the Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, His Majesty’s new appointee, is a son of HRH Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi,” Dr Buthelezi said.

“This is simply not true.”

Dr Buthelezi said Prince Buthelezi was married for almost 66 years to Indlunkulu, the late Princess Irene Thandekile Buthelezi, and they were blessed with these children:

  • Princess Phumzile Nokuphiwa Buthelezi
  • Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi
  • Princess Mandisi Sibukakonke Buthelezi
  • Princess Mabhuku Snikwakonke Buthelezi
  • Princess Lethuxolo Bengitheni Buthelezi
  • Prince Nelisuzulu Benedict Buthelezi
  • Prince Phumaphesheya Gregory Buthelezi
  • Princess Sibuyiselwe Angela Buthelezi

Dr Buthelezi also said that only three of Prince Buthelezi’s children were still alive: his eldest, Princess Phumzile Nokuphiwa Buthelezi, a member of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature; Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi, Inkosi of the Buthelezi clan; and his youngest, Princess Sibuyiselwe Angela Buthelezi, a member of Parliament.

He added that Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi was the only remaining son of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and MaMzila.

“It is evident, therefore, that the newly appointed Undunankulu kaZulu, the Reverend Thulasizwe Buthelezi, is not a member of the family. It is deplorable that neither we nor the broader Buthelezi clan were consulted to confirm or correct this simple piece of information,” Dr Buthelezi said.

“It would have been easy enough to verify that the Reverend Buthelezi’s father was the late Bishop Lawrence Buthelezi, while his mother, MaChiliza, resides to this day in Ulundi. It must be equally distressing for MaChiliza to see her son’s parentage denied and altered in the media.

“Evidently, this false narrative has been deliberately created for reasons we cannot fathom. We implore that such mischief-making stop, and that our beloved parents be allowed to rest in peace,” Dr Buthelezi said.

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