On 27 August 1928, a son was born to Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, the sister of His Majesty King Solomon, and to her husband Inkosi Mathole Buthelezi, traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation. On that day, God smiled on our country.
Today, more than nine decades later, God continues to bless us. For 93 years the Lord has guided, strengthen and protected Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, enabling him to live out his calling to serve South Africa through the time of her greatest conflict and transition.
On behalf of the Inkatha Freedom Party, I am proud to congratulate Prince Buthelezi on the celebration of another birthday. We in the IFP mark this day with immense gratitude, knowing that Prince Buthelezi is the founding father of our Party and the inspiration behind our service to South Africa.
We remain led by his principles of servant leadership, selfless sacrifice and integrity. Through his leadership, Inkatha united the oppressed masses of our country, reigniting the struggle for freedom. And again through his leadership the IFP led the charge in building our fledgling democracy.
The evidence of Prince Buthelezi’s life’s work can be seen throughout South Africa, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, which has always been blessed to be his home. Thousands of classrooms, training colleges, clinics, houses, industrial zones and centres of commerce would not exist today, but for the visionary work of this great patriot.
We thank him for the guidance he continues to provide, not only to the IFP, but to the leadership of our country through his presence in the national Parliament. His consistent advocacy for peace, social justice, equality and economic growth have influenced South Africa tremendously as we continue our struggle.
The IFP also appreciates the sacrificial way in which Prince Buthelezi has always served the Zulu Nation, protecting the monarchy and the institution of traditional leadership. His presence as traditional Prime Minister is much needed, and deeply appreciated, at this difficult juncture for the Zulu Nation.
As Prince Buthelezi celebrates this special day, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, we wish him happiness, strength and good health. May he feel the great affection for him that emanates from so many friends throughout the world. Shenge, we wish you a very happy birthday.
The Hon. Mr VF Hlabisa MPL
President of the IFP
Leader of the Official Opposition in KwaZulu-Natal