Durban - Academics, support staff and students came together at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) on Thursday to pay tribute to the late founder of the tertiary institution, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
One of the students, Sibongakonke Ntombela, 19, from Mandeni, a firstyear student in mechanical engineering, presented a portrait that she drew of the late Buthelezi to his family on Thursday.
Ntombela said the picture had been drawn earlier this year as she believed that Buthelezi was a great leader who had fought for the education of black children.
“The reason I drew him was because of the characteristics he possessed and the type of person he was in general. I wish to be as decisive, wise and goal-orientated as him. He was my hero and this was a way for me to show my appreciation,” she said.
Vusi Mthethwa, the Student Representative Council president at the institution, said that as the student body they were saddened by Buthelezi’s death and would ensure his memory lived on.
“Buthelezi has contributed a lot in the education sector, particularly advocating for black individuals to be educated, to be skilled and to be involved in the economy of our country. This university founded by him has produced thousands of graduates, with the majority of them doing very well in various fields, especially in the field of engineering. We would like to send our deep condolences to the students, staff, management, and most importantly the family of the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.”
Vumani Nkwanyana, of the South African Democratic Student Movement Organisation, said that the news of Buthelezi’s death came as a shock despite his advanced years.
“We have learnt so much from our leader and the skills he possessed, and how much he preached on having principles. We will continue to honour him and ensure that his hard work does not die, but rather grows and continues for future generations,” he said.