Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Zulu prince who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and served as its president for over 50 years, died on Saturday at the age of 95. Buthelezi’s death was announced by his family in a statement. He had been in poor health for some time and had been hospitalized several times in recent months.
Buthelezi was born in 1928 into a Zulu royal family. He was educated at Fort Hare University and the University of Natal. He began his political career in the 1950s, when he joined the African National Congress (ANC). However, he broke with the ANC in 1975 and founded the IFP.
The IFP was a Zulu nationalist party that opposed apartheid. Buthelezi argued that the ANC did not adequately represent the interests of the Zulu people. The IFP and the ANC clashed violently in the 1980s, leading to hundreds of deaths.
Buthelezi later played a key role in the negotiations that led to the end of apartheid. He was appointed Minister of Home Affairs in the first post-apartheid government. He served in this position until 1999.
Buthelezi was a controversial figure, but he was also a respected leader. He was a tireless advocate for the rights of the Zulu people and for peace and reconciliation in South Africa.
His death is a major loss for South Africa. He will be remembered as a complex and contradictory figure who played a significant role in the country’s history.
Tributes have been pouring in for Buthelezi since his death was announced. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Buthelezi was “a towering figure in our country’s history” and that he “played a defining role in the struggle against apartheid.”
Buthelezi’s death is a major loss for South Africa. He was a complex and contradictory figure, but he was also a respected leader who played a significant role in the country’s history. His legacy will be debated for years to come.
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