President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, 95, died early on Saturday morning.
“I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Prince of KwaPhindangene, Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, and the Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party,” the president said in a statement.
“Prince Buthelezi has been an outstanding leader in the political and cultural life of our nation, including the ebbs and flows of our liberation struggle, the transition which secured our freedom in 1994 and our democratic dispensation.”
Buthelezi turned 95 two weeks ago.
“My thoughts and prayers and those of government and our nation go out to the Royal Household who have been blessed to shareuMntwana waKwaPhindangene’s extended lifetime with him, as well as to the Zulu Nation and the leadership and membership of the Inkatha Freedom Party,” Ramaphosa said.
“Announcements will be made in due course, based on consultations between government and the family, on the arrangements to mourn and honour the Inkosi of the Buthelezi clan as a formidable leader who has played a significant role in our country’s history for seven decades.
“We shall, in due course, reflect more extensively on his extraordinary life and diverse contributions to the development of our nation.
“At this point in time, we embrace the Buthelezi clan in their mourning and pray that the soul of the Prince rests in peace.”