Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who paid tribute to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said Parliament would miss the elder leaders’ words of wisdom and the knowledge he shared with the members of Parliament.
In delivering a short tribute during the second part of the late Zulu Prime Minister’s funeral, Mapisa-Nqakula said “a big tree had fallen and that tree has left a void”.
“There is a crater where this great tree was firmly rooted. For many of us who sheltered under this great tree and those who nourished all its fruits and sheltered under the security of its dependable leaves, the family the IFP, the AmaZulu and the rest of our nation, we have now come here to pay homage to him and to pass our condolences,” she said.
Mapisa-Nqakula also told President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Velenkosini Hlabisa that he had very big shoes to fill, “but I believe IFP supporters will support and pray for you”.
Buthelezi led the IFP for 44 years until he left the position in 2019 when Hlabisa took over.
In an earlier tribute by Hlabisa, he said they would try to build from what Buthelezi taught them over the years when he was leader and even after he left.
But, he said Buthelezi died when he was still trying to reach out to the African National Congress (ANC) for reconciliation.
Addressing some of the tensions between the ANC and IFP, Mapisa-Nqakula said that differences have always emerged amongst people “in a way that we understand and the strategies we have employed as black people in fighting against poverty”.
Mapisa-Nqakula said Buthelezi would go down in history as one of those people who made a difference in South Africa.
“He was a very straight-forward man, very honest and very true to himself,” she added.