Politics editor
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Buthelezi to receive official funeral

By Clive Ndou

The KZN premier confirmed that Buthelezi will receive an official funeral but said at this stage they don't know what category it would be.

King of the Zulu nation, Misuzulu Zulu (L), traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu nation Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (C) and former South African President Jacob Zuma (R). Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP

IFP founder and Zulu nation prime minister Prince Managosuthu Buthelezi, who died on Saturday morning at the age of 95, will receive an official funeral.

This was announced by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who was part of the KZN cabinet delegation which paid a visit to Buthelezi’s home in Mahlabathini in Ulundi on Saturday morning.

Dube-Ncube, who appealed to the public to give the Buthelezi family “space to grieve”, said the provincial government has been in contact with the Presidency.

“We can confirm that he will receive an official funeral but at this stage, we don’t know what category it would be,” she said.

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The provincial government, Dube-Ncube said, has set up a team led by its Director General Nonhlahla Mkhize, who will ensure there is communication between the Buthelezi family and the provincial government.

“We will ensure that the Buthelezi family receives all the necessary assistance it requires from the provincial government,” she said.

Buthelezi’s death coincided with Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s hosting of the uMkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance festival) at the eNyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma on Saturday.

While the festival went ahead on Saturday, the usually jovial mood at the event was dampened by news of Buthelezi’s passing.

An advocate of the uMkhosi Womhlanga festival, Buthelezi had attended previous Reed Dance events.

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King Zwelithini was scheduled to deliver a speech at the uMkhosi Womhlanga festival on Saturday afternoon.