‘Buthelezi an inspiration for both current and future generations of lawmakers’

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Parliament’s Presiding Officers say former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi serves as an inspiration for both current and future generations of lawmakers.

Parliament says Buthelezi has unparalleled institutional knowledge that is deeply valued by the presiding officers.

The institution and several MPs joined many others in wishing the veteran MP a happy 95th birthday on Sunday.

He spent his birthday in hospital.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Amos Masondo wished Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi a happy birthday on behalf of all presiding officers of Parliament.

Parliament’s Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says, “The Presiding officers indeed offer their heartfelt wishes to prince Buthelezi on this special occasion and hope he will have a joyous celebration of his 95th Birthday. May this special day be filled with happiness and surrounded by loved ones as Prince Buthelezi marks this special chapter in his journey. We salute his unwavering dedication to our country and look forward to the continued inspiration he provides to all of us.”

Mothapo says Buthelezi has unparalleled institutional knowledge that is deeply valued by the presiding officers.

“His wealth of experience and wealth of understanding of complex issues have proven invaluable during the critical junctures of our National Legislature’s history. The Presiding officers said Prince Buthelezi’s contribution since the establishment of this democratic Parliament have played an instrumental role in shaping the course of our country’s democracy and his enduring presence has consistently radiated wisdom. As Parliament and the nation, we are blessed to constitute having this fountain of wisdom from which to drink. The Presiding officers are with great joy saying Happy 95th Birthday Shenge. uKhule Uze uKhokhobe,” he adds.

Symbol of respect

The Freedom Front Plus Leader Pieter Groenewald who also turned 68 years old on Sunday, has described the founding IFP Leader as a symbol of respect.

Groenewald says, “On behalf of the Freedom Front Plus I want to congratulate Dr Buthelezi on his 95th birthday . The mere fact that he is 95 years of age today is proof that our heavenly father’s grace is upon him and what other present can you receive on your birthday to know that you received the grace of Jesus Christ. Therefore I hope that he will have a wonderful day, be surrounded by his loved ones and may he have a quick recovery from hospital, so that he can continue to a be a symbol of respect for everyone not only in Parliament but also for people in South Africa.”

Al Jama-ah Leader Ganief Hendricks also extends birthday wishes to his fellow MP. He says, “Since 1994, Prince Buthelezi has brought a lot of stability in building democracy in South Africa and today 30 years later on his 95th Birthday, Al Jama-ah would like to wish his a very happy birthday.”

Anglican Archbishop of Southern Africa Thabo Makgoba, who visited the IFP Leader, has described the birthday celebration as beautiful and a joy.

Makgoba says, “I am happy to say God willed and health permitted that I could join the Buthelezi family and hospital to sing happy birthday to Umtwana KaPhindangene. What a joy it was, what a celebration, what a beautiful morning and a day. I know the family will add their thanks but I think the staff at the hospital were just brilliant in organising this day together with the family and us from the Church. May God continue to work his purposes out in healing Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. God Bless.”

The Buthelezi family is expected to give an update on his health. Last week a family spokesperson indicated that Prince Butheklezi may be discharged from hospital this week.

VIDEO: Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi turns 95: