Buthelezi has lit the Peach Torch at the Ubuntu Wellness Centre in Cape Town.
He was joined by Ian MacFarlane of the SA Friends of Tibet and Ngodup Dorjee, a representative of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
South Africa is a Brics partner with China, which frowns on the Dalai Lama as a symbol of Tibetans’ wish for self-rule.
Buthelezi says the support given to the people of Tibet is support for the human race.
“This symbolises the issue of human rights which an issue of just one country, which is an issue of the whole of us, which is the issue of the whole human species. Therefore the support that we give to Tibet is the support which in fact is a duty to all of us, as the members of the human species.”