Former President Jacob Zuma has added his voice in paying tribute to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the founder of the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) and the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation.
Zuma only had praises for Buthelezi for his peace-making role and the diligent service he rendered to the Zulu monarch until his death.
Zuma aired his deepest condolences via a statement on Sunday evening.
He is yet to personally visit the Buthelezi family at KwaPhindangene to mourn with them.
At the time of Buthelezi’s passing, Zuma had just returned from Eswatini (Swaziland) where he was a guest during the kingdom’s celebration of 55 years of independence from Britain.
On Monday Zuma is expected to be in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for his private prosecution of Advocate Billy Downer of the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) and journalist Karyn Maughan.
Regarding Buthelezi, Zuma said he played a role in ending the political violence that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal in the late 80s and early 90s.
WATCH: The Mayor of the City of Umhlathuze praised Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi for visionary leadership. Xolani Ngwezi remembered how in the early 80s Buthelezi stood against the apartheid government and stopped it from surrendering the area of Mhlabuyalinga to Eswatini. @IOL pic.twitter.com/ZgRAWg0WAw— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 10, 2023
The violence was between IFP supporters and the ANC-aligned UDF (United Democratic Front) members who were fighting to dominate the political space in the province.
“History will never be erased on the cooperation of uMntwana wakwaPhindangene (Buthelezi), with President Zuma as he was trying to restore lasting peace during the violent times in KZN, largely between the supporters of the ANC and the IFP.
NEWS: Former President Jacob Zuma has added his voice in mourning the death of Prince #MangosuthuButhelezi. He said the history of Buthelezi working with him to end political violence between IFP and ANC supporters in KZN cannot be erased. That was in the early 90s @IOL— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 10, 2023
“Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi should be remembered as the man who played a remarkable role in supporting the Royal Monarch.
“He also served as Undunankulu of the Zulu Nation until his last day,” Zuma said.
Furthermore, Zuma said Buthelezi’s wish to have his ANC membership restored was based on the belief that black people must work together and defy the apartheid legacy which always sought to divide them.
“We will remember Prince Mangosuthu as a man who, for quite a while, wanted his membership of the ANC to be restored, as one of those who served as an ANC member for a long time.
“Those utterances from uMntwana meant a lot in terms of his political beliefs and understanding the needs towards working for the black people to work together, given the manner in which apartheid machinery was aimed at dividing the black people so that they could not be united as a huge majority in the country,” Zuma added.
On Monday more political figures are expected converge at Buthelezis home to pay their respects while on Tuesday, Amakhosi (Chiefs) from all over the province will have their turn to pay homage to him.
This will be after they have mourned with King Misuzulu KaZwelithini at his palace on the other side of Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal.