Independent Online

Sunday, December 3, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

WATCH: IFP leaders and supporters gather in Ulundi for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s memorial service

Flowers being placed for mourners to pick as they enter the gigantic marquee. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Flowers being placed for mourners to pick as they enter the gigantic marquee. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Sep 13, 2023


Throngs of people, mainly leaders and supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Wednesday morning gathered in Ulundi for the memorial service of the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

The memorial is organised by his party which he founded in 1975 and led for 44 years and died as its President Emeritus, a position that was bestowed on him in August 2019 when he passed the baton to Velenkosini Hlabisa.

The party organised the service to celebrate the life and times of Buthelezi as he has been accorded a state funeral that will take place on Saturday.

As a result, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver his eulogy.

The main speaker at the memorial service is expected to be Hlabisa with the family and others also sharing the podium.

Among the high-profile mourners are members of the Zulu royal family, IFP mayors, members of the Buthelezi royal family of Mahlabathini.

The Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi regional stadium which is hosting the day-long memorial service has been a hive of activities as IFP supporters from KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country began streaming in as early as 6am.

Some of the mourners came clad in IFP regalia and others in Zulu traditional wear despite the cold weather in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town.

Notably, another large section of the mourners who graced the memorial service were clad in the uniform of the boys and girls scouts uniform which over the years has been synonymous with the IFP.

Other than being a leader of the IFP, Buthelezi was also the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation. During his lifetime, he served three Zulu kings - King Bhekuzulu, King Goodwill Zwelithini and the incumbent King Misuzulu.

While waiting inside the large marquee for the service to begin, the mourners were kept busy by the archived music of Princess Magogo, the daughter of King Dinuzulu who was also the beloved mother of Buthelezi.

Occasionally, the big screens would beam a documentary about the life and times of Buthelezi and in one clip he speaks about how he fought for the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

The memorial service is expected to conclude around 3pm.

[email protected]

IOL Politics