The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is saddened by the passing of a great, humble, and highly respected leader, and former President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
On behalf of the ACDP, I convey my most sincere condolences to the Family of Buthelezi, the Family of Inkatha, and to all who mourn the passing of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, particularly the Zulu Nation that he had led for several years.
Prince Buthelezi, who was also the AmaZulu Traditional Prime Minister, was one of South Africa’s towering but humble leaders with strong convictions. A man who believed in God and obeyed the dictates of his conscience. He was a man of reconciliation, and played a pivotal role in the peaceful transition from our painful and divided past of brutal apartheid to the democratic constitutional order we have today.
When Prince Buthelezi turned 90 years of age, in 2018, the National Assembly, under leadership of the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, paid tribute to him for the role he had played in Parliament, as well as the nation. Ms Mbete then said on behalf of the Presiding Officers and Parliament, “Shenge, we are all indebted to you for your long service and commitment to the nation, and to this House. Indeed, you have taught us over many years that we must, as leaders, respect each other.” She was correct because Shenge always spoke about the importance of respect for one another.
The ACDP has learnt so much from him as a leader and as a statesman. He was a man who was not ashamed of his faith. I was with him in his office on a few occasions. At times on invitation, and other times when I had requested to meet with him. Whenever we met there would always be prayers. He would at times ask me to pray for him. Some people would be interested to know what he asked prayer for. Three important prayer requests he would always ask for was for wisdom from God, and because of his age, for physical strength and good health. Shenge was a man that believed in his conscience. Because he was a man of prayer, he would always say that the Lord will guide his conscience, and once he would be convinced that he was right, and that his conscience was not condemning him, Prince Buthelezi would stand his ground regardless of who disagreed with him.
Shenge will be sorely missed not only by the Family of Buthelezi, but also by the people of South Africa. May the Lord strengthen the Buthelezi family, and all those mourning Prince Buthelezi’s passing, during this time of bereavement.
God bless and heal the Buthelezi Family.