LOOK: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's funeral brings political foes under one roof

Former President Jacob Zuma sits down as President Cyril Ramaphosa greets EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Former President Jacob Zuma sits down as President Cyril Ramaphosa greets EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Sep 16, 2023


Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s funeral in Ulundi on Saturday brought political foes under one roof as they temporarily put aside their differences to mourn and say their last goodbyes to the late Zulu traditional prime minister.

The funeral brought together foes within the African National Congress (ANC) and from outside the governing party.

Ramaphosa greeting the EFF entourage upon his arrival for the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy.

Also in attendance is Ramaphosa's foe was former president Jacob Zuma whom he recently defeated in court. Zuma was trying to prosecute Ramaphosa privately.

Zuma and Ramaphosa were all smiles as they hugged and joked with each other at the funeral.

Prince Mbonisi, in Zulu regalia, with Prince Thulani at the funeral. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

For Zuma that was not his only rival in attendance as former president Thabo Mbeki, who he defeated in the 2007 ANC elective conference in Polokwane, was also in attendance.

Another political opponent of Zuma in attendance was former deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe whom he defeated in the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung elective conference.

Across the party lines, Ramaphosa had to share a roof with Economic Freedom Fighters’ Leader Julius Malema and United Democratic Movement Leader, General Bantu Holomisa.

Malema and Holomisa are constantly stoking the fires of the Phala Phala scandal in Parliament, bringing political pain for Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa was cleared by the Public Protector’s report, but the report has since been taken on judicial review.

Malema brought along his deputy, Floyd Shivambu and his party’s secretary-general, Marshall Dlamini.

Despite being at odds with Ramaphosa politically, at the funeral they shook hands and were all smiles where Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa also shared a platform and roof with Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) President, Velenkosini Hlabisa.

Ramaphosa with Hlabisa from the IFP. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics

Hlabisa’s party is engaged in a bitter struggle to oust the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal and at the national level.

Hlabisa and Ramaphosa had to walk together to welcome Buthelezi’s coffin as it was ushered into the stadium.

Also in attendance was Chief Justice Raymond Zondo who got Zuma jailed for defying the Constitutional Court.

In the Zulu royal family, Prince Mbonisi and Prince Thulani had to put aside their differences and welcome Ramaphosa into the stadium.

Prince Mbonisi supports Prince Buzabazi for the Zulu throne while Prince Thulani supports King Misuzulu KaZwelithini.

Prince Mbonisi who was also not getting along with Buthelezi over a similar matter, came to mourn and bury him.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of the Anglican church, Thabo Makgoba, while conducting a sermon, said they prayed that the Zulu royal family would amicably resolve their ongoing differences so that they maintain their status in the eyes of the world.

Buthelezi was a member of the Anglican church and his family said he wanted it to play a prominent role during his burial.

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