Different people have held varying opinion about him, but one thing is certain he is most admired for his refined political posture and decency.
The IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced he won’t be standing for re-election at the party’s elective conference later this year.
Buthelezi has been the party’s leader for 44 years.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (born 27 August 1928) is a South African politician and Zulu tribal leader who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975 and was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu bantustan until 1994. He was Minister of Home Affairs of South Africa from 1994 to 2004. His praise name is Shenge. He was also previously called Gatsha.
In 1964, he played King Cetshwayo kaMpande (his own maternal great-grandfather) in the film Zulu. Throughout most of the apartheid era, Buthelezi was considered one of the foremost black leaders. He played a key role in creating a framework for a negotiated solution to South Africa’s racial conflict, signing the landmark Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith in 1974 with Harry Schwarz. During the CODESA negotiations of the early 1990s, he represented the IFP.
Following the introduction of the universal franchise in the 1994 general election, Buthelezi led the IFP to join the government of national unity, led by Nelson Mandela. Buthelezi served as Minister of Home Affairs until 2004. He continues to serve as both leader of the IFP and an MP, retaining his seat in the 2014 general election.
On 20 January 2019, Buthelezi announced that he would not seek re-election to another term as party president of the Inkatha Freedom Party.
The IFP’s National Council has endorsed its KZN secretary Velenkosini Hlabisa as its presidential candidate in the upcoming general elections.
The party’s national spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said the party has undergone a process of auditing the branches and will hold a general conference in July.
The party is focusing on the general election for the next one hundred days.
Prince Buthelezi will remain president until after the general elections when the leadership transition process will continue.