Durban - IFP founding president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi spent a pleasant but quiet Saturday night surrounded by family members at his KwaPhindangene residence in Nongoma, following his discharge from hospital earlier in the day.
Family spokesperson Dr Bhekuyise Buthelezi said: “He is with the family. Everyone is happy that the head of the family is back from hospital, but importantly our privacy has been respected.”
The Buthelezi family announced on Saturday night that Buthelezi had been discharged from hospital, saying they had received the news with gratitude.
They expressed thanks for well wishes from a number of figures, including King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe. The family noted the messages of support and goodwill that had come from all parts of the country, especially on the eve of Buthelezi’s birthday on August 27 when he turned 95 years old.
“We wish to also, once more, thank every South African for all their prayers and well wishes. It has been this outpouring of love that has carried uMntwana to a point where he is now healthy enough to be discharged from hospital. It would be remiss of us not to thank the nation and media at large, for the beautiful tributes that were paid to uMntwana on the occasion of his 95th birthday on August 27,” said the family spokesperson.
According to the family, while the senior statesman has returned from hospital they still wanted him to be allowed sufficient time to recover.
“As uMntwana (Buthelezi) now continues his recovery, we would like to again make the point that he will not immediately return to work. Therefore, he will not be able to meet delegations at KwaPhindangene or his different offices, or resume his busy diary as yet. We appeal again that we allow him further time and space to fully recover, to regain his full strength, whereafter we will make an announcement as to when he is ready to return to some of his duties.”
The family also expressed gratitude to the medical team and Buthelezi’s security detail.
Meanwhile, IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said they are hopeful of Prince Buthelezi’s speedy and complete recovery following his discharge from hospital. Hlabisa told The Mercury that while they had learnt from the family of Buthelezi’s imminent release last week, they were delighted this happened at the weekend.
“We received the news with a great sense of joy because this was a moment that we had been waiting for for quite some time,” said Hlabisa. “When one is at home the setting is slightly different from that of a hospital because the majority of people are not sick, that is why we are confident and hopeful of a speedy recovery,” he said.
He also appealed for people to refrain from discussing any possible celebrations following Buthelezi’s return from hospital, insisting that the family’s wishes for privacy should be respected.
Buthelezi was admitted to hospital early in August after his regular treatment had seen his condition worsen.