EFF grateful for Buthelezi’s role in ‘formative years’

Buthelezi was remembered for his contribution to the Zulu nation, and for his party’s bloody history filled with political conflicts that turned violent.

The EFF have joined the chorus of reaction to the death of IFP founder and Zulu traditional Prime Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi, thanking him for “suppressing political intolerance” in KZN during the Red Beret’s ‘formative stages’.

Buthelezi’s death was confirmed by his family on Saturday morning. He was 95.

He was remembered for his contribution to the Zulu nation, and for his party’s bloody history filled with political conflicts that turned violent.

ALSO READ: ‘He wouldn’t want a political spectacle’- KZN premier calls for ‘peace’ after Buthelezi’s death

The EFF acknowledged his controversial legacy but said it was grateful for Buthelezi‘s role in suppressing political intolerance when the EFF was starting out.

“South Africa’s history, with all its trials, tribulations and contradictions, cannot be told without mentioning the role of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the political party he founded and led for 44 years, the Inkatha Freedom Party.

“The EFF however appreciated that in his final years of political activity, he was able to suppress political intolerance in the province of KZN, which allowed the EFF to campaign freely in the province in its formative years”.

Official funeral

KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube confirmed the provincial government had written to the presidency to request an official funeral for Buthelezi.

“There will be an official funeral but we just need to confirm what category that will be”.

University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) cultural expert, Dr Gugu Mazibuko, said she would not be surprised if Buthelezi was given a state funeral.

“The position of prime minister is quite an important one within the Zulu nation. He is the King’s righthand man and the most senior Inkosi (chief) of the Zulu nation. Also, in terms of politics, he was a prominent player, and at one point he was even the country’s acting president.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to receive a national state funeral as opposed to just a provincial state funeral,” she said.

ALSO READ: OBITUARY: The life and times of Zulu Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

According to legislation, “distinguished persons specifically designated by the president of the Republic of South Africa” can be given an official funeral usually reserved for serving ministers, the speaker of the National Assembly, the chief justice, the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and premiers of provinces.

There are two categories of official provincial funerals. One is for the speaker of the legislature and members of the executive committee. The other is for the deputy speaker of the legislature.

“Distinguished persons can be granted a special provincial official funeral category. The premier of a province sends a request to the president for consideration if they feel a resident of the province deserves such recognition.” 

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