Former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader and MP Mangosuthu Buthelezi has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The IFP has confirmed it in a statement on Saturday.

His family says the 91-year-old veteran politician is being looked after by a capable medical team.

Buthelezi has diabetes.

In a statement, his family says Buthelezi was informed earlier this week that he had come into contact with a person that had tested positive for the virus.

“We, the family of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Founder and President Emeritus of the IFP, Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan and Traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, wish to advise that uMntwana wa KwaPhindangene has tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier this week, he was informed that he had been in contact with a positive case and he thus took the precautionary measure of being tested, despite displaying no symptoms himself.”

The family says Prince Buthelezi is now self-isolating at home for the mandatory period. They say they are pleased that he remains asymptomatic and is in good spirits at this stage.

In May, Buthelezi said people calling for the lift of the lockdown should think of those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“There are many among us at much higher risk because of age, compromised immune system or underlying illness. It is deeply irresponsible for healthy young leaders to call for the lifting of lockdown when it is the elderly, the vulnerable and the weak who will die.”