WATCH: Zulu regiments take centre stage at Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's funeral

Zulu regiments at the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Zulu regiments at the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

Published Sep 16, 2023


In a funeral befitting a traditional leader, famed Zulu regiments took the centre stage at the funeral of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi on Saturday.

Other than being a founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Buthelezi was also a Chief (Inkosi) of the Buthelezi clan in Mahlabathini.

Buthelezi was also the traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and the Zulu nation, a position he assumed in 1954 until his death on September 9, aged 95.

The regiments came from all over KwaZulu-Natal and in buses.

They took turns showcasing their skills in front of guests who were in attendance. They were also singing traditional songs associated with several historic issues in the Zulu kingdom.

One notable song they sang was ‘Unyaka no nyaka zindaba zika Thabo Mbeki, kukhona okuzovela’ — loosley translated to ‘Every year we hear issues about Thabo Mbeki, one day we will hear more’.

The song was made famous by the late maskandi artist, Mfazomnyama Khumalo who hailed from Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The most colourful display came from regiments from the Ngome area near Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Another colourful display also came from regiments that came from the KwaMashu hostel in Durban.

IFP supporters at the funeral. Picture: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

The regiments came shortly after the arrival of President Cyril Ramaphosa and they became the centre of attraction as they marched around the stadium.

The regiments also ushered in Buthelezi’s coffin when it entered the stadium before the South African National Defence (SANDF) took over as Buthelezi was granted a state funeral with full military honours.

When Buthelezi’s body was ushered in, some regiments stood up and formed a guard of honour.

Occasionally, proceedings would be disrupted when a new group walked into the stadium and they had to do the traditional salute by marching past the dignitaries.

As they marched, women ululated in joy and appreciation.

After conducting their traditional salute the regiments then took the space in front of the coffin and braved the scorching sun as the programme was proceeding.

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