Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s worrying frail health ‘no cause for panic’

The deteriorating health of IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi came under scrutiny during the fourth annual lecture held in Ulundi recently.

For the first time, the 94-year-old Mangosuthu Buthelezi did not show up for the occasion meant to celebrate and honour his legacy as one of prominent political figures.

His spokesperson Liezl van der Merwe said Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s admission to the hospital was no cause for panic, describing it as a routine check-up and treatment for prolonged back pain.

However, speculation is rife that the elder statesman is on his deathbed.

Van der Merwe was, however, quick to allay fears, saying claims of Mangosuthu Buthelezi being bed-ridden are misplaced.

Buthelezi’s elder son Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi also confirmed that his father was at home resting as per the doctor’s advice.

“My father is recovering from treatment. His doctors have not given him the green light to appear in public,” he said.

Delivering his keynote address at a packed Prince Mangosuthu Regional Airport, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Dr Thabo Makgoba said Buthelezi’s leadership has been inspiring.

“If we talk about somebody of the calibre of uMntwana wakaphindangane [a reference to Buthelezi], we tend to repeat ourselves. In parliament, he has been a model of ethical leadership.

“Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has also modelled the values and ethos of ubuntu, which are woeful today,” said Makgoba in a glowing tribute to Buthelezi.

The arch also took the time to warn of a ticking time bomb if the lives and conditions of those languishing in abject poverty are not addressed.

“Inequality and the failure to pay a living wage has a danger of driving people to dangerous acts of desperation. We need ethical and decisive leadership to improve the lives of the downtrodden.”

The lecture was attended by people from all walks of life including politicians, clergy, captains of industry, and other international dignitaries.

It was the first leg of the annual Prince Mangosuthu Legacy Cup, a pre-season football tournament featuring AmaZulu, Royal AM, Richards Bay United and Eswatini’s Mbabane Swallows.


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