/ 4 September 2023

Mangosuthu Buthelezi goes home, but no visitors allowed yet

Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president emeritus Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been released from hospital after a lengthy stay.

A family spokesperson said in a statement that Buthelezi, 95, had been released from hospital and would be recovering at his home at kwaPhindangene, near Ulundi in Zululand.

But the IFP founder would not be resuming his duties as a member of the National Assembly, or any party work, and would not be receiving visitors at his home while he recovered.

Spokesperson Bhekuyise Buthelezi said that the family felt a “deep sense of gratitude” that Buthelezi had left the hospital and “will now continue his recovery and recuperation outside of hospital”.

“We wish to also, once more, thank every South African for all your prayers and well-

wishes. It has really been this outpouring of love that has carried uMntwana to a point where he is now healthy enough to be discharged from hospital,” Dr Buthelezi said.

He said the veteran politician “will not immediately return to work.”

“Therefore, he will not be able to meet with delegations at kwaPhindangene or his different offices, or resume his busy diary as yet,” he said.

“We appeal again that we allow him further time and space to fully recover, to regain

his full strength, whereafter we will make an announcement as to when he is ready to

return to some of his duties and responsibilities.”

Buthelezi was admitted to the hospital early last month after his condition took a turn for the worse following his undergoing regular treatment for a back issue. 

The IFP founder, who acts as traditional prime minister for Zulu monarch Misuzulu kaZwelithini, turned 95 last week.

It is not clear at this point what the impact of his ill health will be on the high court challenge to the king’s legitimacy by his half-brother, Prince Simakade, which is set down for argument in Pretoria next month.

Buthelezi has not yet signed an affidavit backing the king — which he had threatened to withdraw unless the monarch reinstated Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) chairperson Jerome Ngwenya — in defence of his claim to the throne.

The king fired Ngwenya earlier this year following an expose of irregular investments totalling R41 million through Ingonyama Holdings, of which Ngwenya was a director. The ITB controls and administers nearly three million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal on behalf of the monarchy.