MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCES BY
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
AND INKOSI OF THE BUTHELEZI CLAN
Mahlabathini - eDlebe : 17 May 2018
When I received the news of Councillor Dlamini’s murder, I was stupefied. I just could not believe this had happened. This young man, in the prime of his life, was sitting at the table in my home just days before. My wife, Princess Irene, was equally stunned by the news. Councillor Sibuyiselo Dlamini was like a son to us. He was full of promise, loyal to the cause of our Party, and committed to serve. Now, he is no more.
His life was snuffed out at the hands of assassins, as they carried out the nefarious deed of a hidden murderer. My heart breaks for his mother and their family, for his fiancé, and for the many who knew and loved him. Councillor Dlamini was a respected leader in this community. He was known for his integrity. He was never afraid to speak truth to power, and it is surely for this that his life was taken.
I think today of the lines in the poem titled “Elegy to the Country Churchyard”, where it is said: “Many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its fragrance in the desert air…” Surely the blossoming life of this young man was not yet fully appreciated. We saw his potential, but we will never have the chance to see it unfold. That has been taken from us, and it is a terrible theft.
There was not meant to be a funeral today. We were supposed to be gathered in Ulundi for a Road Show of the Zululand District Municipality so that our Mayor could present the Budget and IDP for the coming year. Councillor Dlamini had been travelling with the Road Show to our local municipalities and we were together in eDumbe just two days before his murder.
But now, instead of a Road Show, a funeral has brought us together in Ulundi, so that we might bid farewell to one of our young lions. It feels strange that he is not among us, and I know that we will feel his absence many times in the days ahead when the Party goes out to serve our people and do the work we have been called on to do. This entire community, and the Zululand District, have suffered an immeasurable loss.
What causes me the deepest pain is the knowledge that this terrible act of murder could have, and should have, been prevented. Councillor Dlamini knew that there was a plot to assassinate him. My daughter, Princess Sibuyiselwe, worked closely with him and they were friends. He confided in her that someone he knew wanted him dead, and he even mentioned the name of the person behind it. On the morning of 10 May, the day before his death, he sent a text message to a friend in Durban, again naming the person behind his imminent assassination. I saw that message with my own eyes.
I took this very seriously. Our National Chairman, the Honourable Mr Blessed Gwala contacted the Police at the highest level in the Province, immediately after I had broken the sad news to him. He asked that the matter be investigated as a matter of priority. There had been an assassination of an ANC councillor on the South Coast, and the same team that was investigating that murder would be sent to investigate the threat against Councillor Dlamini. But those who wanted him dead were vigilant. They waited their chance, and the moment he was alone, they killed him. The Honourable Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele phoned Mr Gwala that same night of Councillor Dlamini’s death. He assured him that he was sending the same Investigating Unit that had successfully investigated the murder of Councillor Cele in the South Coast.
I am devastated. I cannot explain how deeply I feel this loss. My wife and I have buried five of our children, and this death has reminded us of the excruciating pain we felt each time one of our children was called to eternity. I will not rest until I know that his assassins have been caught and convicted, and the murderer behind this deed has been made to face judgement in a court of law. The blood on their hands will not be washed away. May guilt attack their soul as it attacked the soul of Judas.
I am not bent on revenge, for I know that vengeance belongs to the Lord. But I will see justice done, because everything good and right has been violated by this despicable act.
We must see justice done for the sake of his family. On behalf of the IFP and on behalf of my own family, I extend my condolences to Mrs Dlamini on the loss of her beloved son. This family is from the Buthelezi Traditional Area and Mrs Dlamini herself has been a staunch member of the IFP for many years. This family is close to our hearts. Please know that you do not mourn alone. Your grief is our grief. Your pain is our pain.
I say this as well to the lovely young lady who captured the heart of Councillor Sibuyiselo Dlamini. He was not shy to express his intention to marry, and he intended to be married soon. He was ready to start a family and enjoy all the blessings of life. I don’t know how anyone could have taken that from him. They have robbed a future wife. They have robbed a family. They have robbed us all. What is worse, they have orphaned his child.
The depth of pain they have caused so many people is unspeakable. No amount of money can be worth this kind of savage destruction. Have we not suffered enough as a Party? Is it not enough that we have buried thousands of our sons and daughters through political assassination? How can we bring ourselves to see more blood spilled on this soil? It is drenched already. Will it ever dry, or will our own acts of selfish brutality see it run forever red?
In this painful moment, I extend my condolences and those of my wife, also to the IFP Youth Brigade, where Councillor Dlamini served as chair of the constituency. His death leaves a huge void among our youth. It is hard to imagine it could ever be filled.
His service to our people in Ulundi and in Zululand was outstanding. I know how difficult it is for our Mayor of Zululand, as well as our Mayor of Ulundi, to come to terms with this loss. His colleagues in both Municipalities are left with pain and unanswered questions. I urge you all to seek peace in the Lord. May His kindness comfort you. We will keep praying for justice to be done, but let us pray also for the healing of so many hearts.
I have no doubt that many members of this community will have personal memories of how Councillor Dlamini touched their lives. I think, for instance, of how he was involved in erecting the tombstones on my children’s graves, through his work for AVBOB. When Princess Lethuxolo died so tragically in 2008, Councillor Dlamini was a support to our family. As young as he was, he had wisdom and compassion. He truly cared about people and he shared the burden of those he served.
So we are poorer for his passing. We have lost a great leader, a good man, and a committed servant of the people. We will mourn this loss deeply. May the Lord grant us all that peace that passing all understanding, for we certainly cannot comprehend this terrible loss. My son, Prince Ntuthukoyezwe requested me to convey his condolences to Sibuyiselo’s bereaved mother and family. He is very sad that he was unable to be with us at this funeral. GO WELL MALANDELA. The only comfort we as Believers have, is that we are certain of joining you in eternity.
May Councillor Sibuyiselo Dlamini rest in peace.