Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Granted Category 1 State Funeral with Military Honours

news 12-Sep-2023 Africa

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Granted Category 1 State Funeral with Military Honours

In a show of respect and recognition for his extraordinary credentials, President Cyril Ramaphosa has granted Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi a category 1 state funeral. This category is reserved for "persons of extraordinary credentials" and can only be granted by the president himself. The announcement was made by the Presidency on Tuesday, as mourners continue to gather in KwaPhindangene, outside Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, to pay their respects to the late Zulu Prince.

According to the State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy of the government, Special Official Funerals, Category 1, are accorded to individuals specifically designated by the President of South Africa. In the case of Prince Buthelezi, his funeral will include elements of military honours. As a mark of respect, the President has also directed that flags be flown at half-mast at flag stations across the country from Tuesday, 12 September 2023, until the evening of the funeral.

The KZN provincial government, in a statement, disclosed that the initial date of the funeral was changed after consultations with the Buthelezi family, who deemed the initial date "impractical." The family expressed gratitude to the President for granting the funeral the status of a Special Official Funeral Category One, considering it a fitting recognition of the Prince's contributions and dedication to South Africa.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), passed away on Saturday morning at the age of 95. He held the position of the longest-serving traditional prime minister of the Zulu monarch and nation, assuming the role in 1954 under King Bhekuzulu. He continued to serve under King Goodwill Zwelithini and the current King, Misuzulu KaZwelithini.

Meanwhile, the IFP has announced a national memorial service for Buthelezi, which is set to take place on Wednesday at the Prince Mangosuthu regional stadium in Ulundi. The event is expected to draw a significant number of attendees eager to pay their respects to the late Prince.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's legacy and contributions to South Africa cannot be overstated. As a prominent political figure, he played a significant role in the country's history and worked tirelessly to promote peace, equality, and justice. His passing is a great loss, not only to the Zulu nation but to the entire nation as a whole.

The granting of a category 1 state funeral with military honours for Prince Buthelezi exemplifies the respect and admiration he commanded throughout his lifetime. As South Africans bid farewell to this remarkable leader, it is a time to remember his immense contributions and the lasting impact he has had on the country. The funeral ceremony will serve as a solemn and dignified tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving the people of South Africa.

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