International dignitaries arrive in SA ahead of Buthelezi’s final send-off

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Several international dignitaries have started to arrive in South Africa to attend the funeral of AmaZulu traditional Prime Minister and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s funeral tomorrow.

Some of the notable names include leaders from across Africa and the rest of the world.

Member of the National Council of the IFP, Les Govender, says the deceased leader had strong international ties.

“People from China, India and Australia have indicated that they would be here. Some of them have already arrived. We have the former President of Nigeria here. Leaders from the African continent, royalty as well from Zambia, Ghana and that list is still growing from the African continent, then we have the royal Welsh regiment. We have a representative from the British military who will be laying a wreath as well as a representative from the United States. The Dalai Lama will be sending representatives to attend the funeral on Saturday.”

Ritual rites

Meanwhile, Mangosuthu’s body is expected to be transported from a local mortuary in Ulundi to his hometown of Mahlabathini today as preparations for his funeral get underway.

Elders of the Buthelezi family are expected to perform traditional rituals after the arrival of the body.

Amabutho, the AmaZulu regiments, are going to be playing a very critical role according to culture because he was the head of the house and traditional Prime Minister, he had to reach the home by sunset.

Around midday today, members of the Buthelezi family will come to collect the body and will be led by his son, Zuzifa Ntuthuko Buthelezi, accompanied by Amabutho at the mortuary to receive the body.

Amabutho will then follow the cortege and because it’s a long distance of 10 kilometres from the mortuary to the KwaPindagene residence in the Mahlabathini village.

The group will divide into two and go into the mortuary with religious leaders to perform rituals that we will not be permitted to follow.

His body will then take his body out and accompany him for at least three kilometres and the second group will meet the second group and then accompany the body until it reaches KwaPhindangene at his residence.

The next Amabutho under the Buthelezi clan will then receive the body outside the homestead and again, rituals will be performed before the body enters the home and all of the rituals have to be done before the sun sets.

More details in the video below: