Mangosuthu Buthelezi

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Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi is a South African politician and the former President of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) which he founded in 1975. Buthelezi is the traditional prime minister to the Zulu monarch and nation a position he was appointed to in 1968. He has been the Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan since 1953.


Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was born in Mhalabathini, KwaZulu-Natal.[1]


Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi was born on 27 August 1928.[1]


Buthelezi attended Adams College from 1944 to 1947. From 1948 to 1950 he was at the University of Fort Hare where he joined the ANC Youth League in 1949. His BA degree was however completed at University of Natal.[1][2]

Political Career

Prince Buthelezi entered the first democratic Parliament in April 1994 as President of the Inkatha Freedom Party. He served as Minister of Home Affairs in Nelson Mandela’s Cabinet under the Government of National Unity from 1994 to 1999.

He was appointed to continue as Minister of Home Affairs by Thabo Mbeki from 1999 to 2004.

He continues to serve in the National Parliament.

At the request of Inkosi Albert Luthuli and Oliver Tambo, Buthelezi took up the elected position as Chief Executive Officer of the Zulu Territorial Authority from 1970 to 1972. In 1972 he became Chief Executive Councillor of the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly until 1976.

In 1976 he became Chief Minister of KwaZulu until 1994. Buthelezi has been appointed Acting President of the Republic of South Africa at least 22 times.[2]

Fight Against Apartheid

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi refused nominal independence for KwaZulu from the apartheid Government, thereby derailing the grand scheme of apartheid to balkanise South Africa. He also persuaded FW de Klerk to release Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners and to allow exiles to return, in order to begin negotiations towards democracy.[2]

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)

Prince Buthelezi founded Inkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe, the national cultural liberation organisation which later became the Inkatha Freedom Party.[2]

On October 30, 2017, Buthelezi — who still served as IFP President — announced his retirement from public politics in South Africa.[3]

Honors & Awards


He was awarded Knight Commander of the Star of Africa, for outstanding leadership, by President Tolbert of Liberia. Prince Buthelezi was also awarded the French National Order of Merit.

He received the George Meany Human Rights Award from the Council of Industrial Organisation of the American Federation of Labour (AFL-CIO) and the Magna Award for outstanding leadership in Hong Kong. He received a King's Cross Award by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini.[2]


Prince Buthelezi was given an honorary Doctor of Law degree by the University of Cape Town in 1978. He had already received an honorary Doctor of Law degree in 1976 from the University of Zululand. In 1985, he also received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Tampa University in Florida, USA. The University of Boston Massachusetts, USA also gave Prince Buthelezi an honorary Doctor of Law degree in 1986. He also received an Honorary Doctorate, Humane Letters from City University of Los Angeles in 1989.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, People's Assembly, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: April 30, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Prince Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, Parliament, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: April 30, 2021
  3. Jill E. Kelly Liz Timbs, The rise and fall of Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Africa is a Country, Published: November 12, 2017, Retrieved: April 30, 2021