Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) founder and president emeritus Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died at the weekend at the age of 95, will be buried on Friday.
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government said an announcement of the date had been made by the Buthelezi family following a meeting with them on Sunday.
The province has asked the presidency to grant Buthelezi, who also served as traditional prime minister to the Zulu king, a state funeral.
“Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Nomusa Dube-Ncube has confirmed that there is ongoing communication with the Presidency on the funeral arrangements,” provincial communications head Bongi Gwala said.
“The Premier stated that the funeral service and the associated ceremonial logistics will be communicated in due course.”
A marquee has been set up outside Buthelezi’s home at Ka Phindangene, near Ulundi, in order to receive mourners wishing to pay their respects to the veteran politician while at the same time giving the privacy to grieve and prepare for the funeral.
On Sunday, the ANC’s provincial leadership and that of ActionSA and Buthelezi’s own party, the IFP, visited the Buthelezi family to pass on their condolences and pay their respects to him.
ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said the party had declared a week of mourning in tribute to Buthelezi and had instructed the provincial government to “come closer” to the Buthelezi family until the funeral.
“During the week of mourning we call on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to unite across all political lines and remember that we have a responsibility to work together to build a stronger province than many of our leaders envisioned,” he said.
Former ANC president Jacob Zuma on Sunday also paid tribute to Buthelezi, saying that the IFP leader’s role in bringing about an end to the bloody conflict between its supporters and those of the ANC “will never be erased.”
The Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said Zuma believed Buthelezi had played a “remarkable role” in supporting the Zulu monarchy and that the two had become friends “in the course of addressing complicated questions.”