Mangosuthu Buthelezi

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Mangosuthu Buthelezi
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
1975
Inkosi (Chieftain) of the Buthelezi Tribe
Incumbent
Assumed office
1953
Preceded byChief Mathole Buthelezi
South African Minister of Home Affairs
In office
1994–2004
Preceded byDanie Schutte
Succeeded byNosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Chief Minister of KwaZulu
In office
1976–1994
Leader of the KwaZulu territorial Authority
In office
1970–1976
Personal details
Born(1928-08-27) 27 August 1928 (age 84)[1]
Mahlabathini, Natal,
South Africa
Political partyInkatha Freedom Party
ReligionAnglican
 
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Mangosuthu Buthelezi
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
1975
Inkosi (Chieftain) of the Buthelezi Tribe
Incumbent
Assumed office
1953
Preceded byChief Mathole Buthelezi
South African Minister of Home Affairs
In office
1994–2004
Preceded byDanie Schutte
Succeeded byNosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Chief Minister of KwaZulu
In office
1976–1994
Leader of the KwaZulu territorial Authority
In office
1970–1976
Personal details
Born(1928-08-27) 27 August 1928 (age 84)[1]
Mahlabathini, Natal,
South Africa
Political partyInkatha Freedom Party
ReligionAnglican

Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi (born 27 August 1928) is a South African Zulu politician who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975. His praise name is Shenge.

Contents

Early life

Mangosuthu (born Gatsha) was born on 27 August 1928, in Mahlabathini, KwaZulu, to Chief Mathole Buthelezi and Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, the sister of King Solomon kaDinuzulu. He was educated at Impumalanga Primary School, Mahashini, Nongoma from 1933 to 1943, then at Adams College, Amanzimtoti from 1944 to 1947.

Mangosuthu studied at University of Fort Hare from 1948 to 1950, where he joined the African National Congress Youth League and came into contact with Robert Mugabe and Robert Sobukwe. He was expelled from the university after student boycotts. He later completed his degree at the University of Natal.

In 1964 he played King Cetshwayo kaMpande (his own maternal great-grandfather) in the film Zulu.

Chieftainship

Buthelezi inherited the chieftainship of the large Buthelezi tribe in 1953: a position he still holds today.

In 1970, Buthelezi was appointed leader of the KwaZulu territorial Authority and in 1976 became chief minister of the quasi-independent Bantustan of KwaZulu. The emerging Black Consciousness Movement of the 1970s branded him an Apartheid regime collaborator, because of his strong anti-Communist belief. However, he consistently declined homeland independence and political deals until Nelson Mandela was released from prison and the African National Congress was made legal.

Inkatha Freedom Party

In 1975 Buthelezi started the IFP with the blessing of the African National Congress, but broke away from the ANC in 1979 and his relationship with the ANC sharply deteriorated. He was encouraged by Oliver Tambo, the then-President of the ANC mission in exile to revive the cultural movement. In the mid 1970s it was clear that many in the Black Consciousness Movement were at odds with Buthelezi's politics. For instance, during the funeral of Robert Sobukwe he was barred from attending the service since they argued that he was a notable collaborator of the Nationalist Government. In 1979 Inkosi Buthelezi and the Inkatha Yenkululeko Yesizwe, as it was then known, severed ties with the main ANC since the ANC favoured military strategies by employing the use of Umkhonto we Sizwe, Spear of the Nation. The meeting that was held in London between the two organisations did not succeed in ironing out differences.

In 1982 Buthelezi opposed the apartheid government's plan to cede the Ingwavuma region in northern Natal to the Swaziland government. The courts decided in his favour on the grounds that the government had not followed its own black constitution act of 1972, which required consultation with the people of the region. He was also instrumental in setting up the teacher training and nursing colleges throughout the late 1970s and the early 1980s. He requested Harry Oppenheimer, his great friend and ally, to establish Mangosuthu Technikon in Umlazi, south of Durban.

Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith

On 4 January 1974, Transvaal leader of the United Party Harry Schwarz met with Mangosuthu Buthelezi and signed the Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith. They agreed on a five-point plan for racial peace in South Africa. The declaration's purpose was to provide a blueprint for government of South Africa for racial peace in South Africa. It called for negotiations involving all peoples, in order to draw up constitutional proposals stressing opportunity for all with a Bill of Rights to safeguard these rights. It suggested that the federal concept was the appropriate framework for such changes to take place. It also first affirmed that political change must take place though non-violent means.[2]

The declaration was the first of such agreements by acknowledged black and white leaders in South Africa that affirmed to these principles. The commitment to the peaceful pursuit of political change was declared at a time when neither the National Party nor African National Congress were looking for peaceful solutions or dialogue. The declaration was heralded by the English speaking press as a breakthrough in race relations in South Africa. The declaration was endorsed by several chief ministers of the black homelands, including Cedric Phatudi (Lebowa), Lucas Mangope (Bophuthatswana) and Hudson Nisanwisi (Gazankulu).[3] The declaration also received praise from liberal figures such as Alan Paton.

Para-military accusations

Buthelezi was said to have been working with General Magnus Malan in training the youth of Ulundi and other parts of the erstwhile KwaZulu Homeland in setting up a para-military unit ostensibly because he feared that a lot of property and life were lost during the cataclysmic conflicts of 1984 to 1994. He was even implicated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report as a person who was responsible for the gross violations of Human Rights but before the report was published he took them to court and before the court's ruling Buthelezi and the Truth Commission agreed to settle out of court.

Meeting with Mandela and the elections

Buthelezi at first refused to participate in the first democratic South African elections in April 1994 but chose to enter at the very last minute, after a meeting held on 8 April, when Mandela and de Klerk tried to sway the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu from his dependence on Buthelezi by offering him a guarantee of special status of the Zulu monarchy after the elections. The offer was not immediately successful, but Buthelezi seemed sympathetic to the idea. The foreign mediation team led by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former British Foreign Minister Lord Carrington were pivotal in reaching a compromise, and convinced the IFP leader to give up the boycott of the elections. Buthelezi therefore signed an agreement with deKlerk and Mandela that guaranteed the ceremonial status of the Zulu king and was promised that foreign mediators would examine Inkatha's claims to more autonomy in the Zulu area. It was probably too late though, because Buthelezi was losing support fast, and as a consequence, his party only narrowly won the elections in KwaZulu-Natal. In May 1994, Buthelezi was appointed Minister of Home Affairs in the first post-Apartheid government, a position he continued to hold following the 1999 elections. He was appointed acting president a number of times during this period.

Though his appointment in the government of national unity was a kind of catharsis, the Zulu King openly lambasted Buthelezi and told many members of the ruling party that he was like Mandela because for 24 years of KwaZulu government he could not operate freely. Buthelezi countered that by saying that His Majesty should not interfere in political matters, rather the Zulu monarchy should be modelled along the same lines as the British one.

Demise of Government of National Unity

Prior to the 2004 elections President Thabo Mbeki refused to sign into law Buthelezi's attempt to overhaul the Immigration laws. For the first time in South African history a Cabinet Minister took the President to court in an attempt to secure stricter immigration regulations.

After the 2004 elections President Thabo Mbeki offered Buthelezi the Deputy Presidency, which he refused, as in exchange the IFP would have to relinquish the Premiership of the IFP-dominated province of KwaZulu-Natal. Since 1994, South Africa was governed by a multi-party Government of National Unity, including the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions. By the time of the 1999 elections this transitional condition fell away, but the majority ANC government again invited the IFP to join it in government. After the 2004 elections, with Buthelezi declining the Deputy Presidency, the IFP left the coalition government and sat in the opposition benches.

Buthelezi remained a Member of Parliament after the April 2009 general election.[4]

Titles from birth

Positions

Awards

Marriage

He was married 2 July 1952 to Irene Audrey Thandekile Mzila, and they had three sons and five daughters:[5]

Published works

References

External links

Political offices
New titleChief Executive Councillor of KwaZulu
1970 – 1976
Succeeded by
himself
as Chief Minister
Preceded by
himself
as Chief Executive Councillor
Chief Minister of KwaZulu
1976 – 1994
Succeeded by
Frank Mdlalose
as Premier of KwaZulu-Natal
Preceded by
Danie Schutte
Minister of Home Affairs
1994 – 2004
Succeeded by
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Party political offices
New political partyPresident of the Inkatha Freedom Party
1975 – present
Incumbent