Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi granted category 1 state funeral which comes with military honours

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Sep 12, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has granted the recently departed Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi a category 1 state funeral.

This category of the funeral is only reserved for “persons of extraordinary credentials” and only the president can grant them.

The category of the funeral was announced by the Presidency on Tuesday as more mourners continue to flock to KwaPhindangene outside Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal to mourn the death of the Zulu Prince.

“The State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy of government accords Special Official Funerals, Category 1, to persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.

“The Prince’s funeral will entail elements of military honours.

“The President has directed that flags be flown at half mast at flag stations around the country from today, Tuesday, 12 September 2023, until the evening of the day on which the funeral will take place,” the presidency announced in a statement.

Buthelezi’s funeral was initially planned for Friday but has since been moved to Saturday, September 16.

In a statement, the KZN provincial government said the date was changed following consultations with the Buthelezi family which felt that the initial date was “impractical.”

“The family has expressed gratitude to the President for categorizing the funeral as a Special Official Funeral Category One, saying this was a befitting recognition for the contribution and dedication the Prince of KwaPhindangene has made to South Africa,” the statement read.

Buthelezi who was the founder and President Emeritus of the IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party) died on Saturday morning aged 95.

He was the longest-serving traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation, having assumed the position in 1954 under King Bhekuzulu.

He went to serve under King Goodwill Zwelithini and under the incumbent, King Misuzulu KaZwelithini.

Meanwhile, the IFP has announced a national memorial service for Buthelezi. The service will be held on Wednesday at Prince Mangosuthu regional stadium in Ulundi where scores of people are expected to attend.

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