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South Africa holds state funeral for divisive Zulu leader

Sep 17, 2023

Johannesburg [South Africa], September 17: Mourners in traditional warrior headbands have gathered for the state funeral of Zulu prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a powerful but divisive leader implicated in a wave of deadly violence that marked the birth of modern South Africa.
Thousands are expected to pay tribute to the once-feared founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), who died a week ago aged 95.
On Saturday, mourners wearing black or sporting Zulu warrior headbands streamed into a small stadium in Ulundi, the ancient capital of the Zulu kingdom and IFP heartland, for the funeral.
"He treated all of us Zulus as one person. That is why I am here," said BongaMakhoba, 31, who drove 150km and slept in his car to attend the ceremony. "I just respect him and I want him to . rest in peace." White marquees were set up to accommodate important guests on the pitch, at the centre of which stood a black canopy for the coffin.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who ordered flags to be flown at half-staff across the country, will deliver a eulogy at the funeral. "Buthelezi has been an outstanding leader in the political and cultural life of our nation, including the ebbs and flows of our liberation struggle," Ramaphosa said, announcing the Zulu nationalist's death last Saturday.
Buthelezi was once a foe of Ramaphosa and his late boss Nelson Mandela, as the pair led negotiations to end white rule in South Africa. For years, he was defined by his bitter rivalry with the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Source: Qatar Tribune