Traditional Prime Minister To The Zulu Monarch And Nation
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
And President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
As the traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Monarch and Nation, I carry the responsibility of introducing His Majesty the King to his people at the ceremonies and commemorations of our nation. I have fulfilled this responsibility for several decades, celebrating King Shaka Day, commemorating the Battle of Isandlwana, and witnessing annual events like the First Fruits Festival.
Among these significant dates, is the annual Reed Dance Ceremony, in which we honour young women for their self-respect and positive choices, while encouraging young men to value and protect the health and wellbeing of women. This year, the Reed Dance Ceremony will take place on Saturday 5 September 2015.
To my regret, I will not be able to attend. His Majesty the King has accepted my apology and knows that he has my support and best wishes for a successful celebration. I trust that my support and respect will be conveyed to the many young maidens who will participate in Saturday’s ceremony. May this significant moment inspire them with a greater sense of identity, belonging, and hope.
My prayers are with all those who will be travelling to eNyokeni Palace in Nongoma, as we continue to mourn the tragic loss of 65 young women who were killed in a road accident last week en route to the Reed Dance Ceremony in our neighbouring Swaziland. We pray for their families, as we do for the families of all our young maidens this weekend.
My thoughts will be with my nation as I leave from Durban on Saturday to undertake a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I will be joining several senior political leaders from various opposition parties for a six day study tour, which aims to enhance South Africa’s relationship with the Middle East.
Our visit will include discussions with key role players in the agricultural sector, in recognition of the importance of agriculture to the economy of South Africa and the value of exchanging information and experience.
At my request, we will also meet with officials from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to seek a deeper understanding of both sides to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
I have been vocal in the past in expressing my support for a two state solution, and an end to all violence. I hope that my participation in this study tour will emphasise South Africa’s commitment to peace and peaceful resolution.
To this end, I have engaged both the Ambassador of Palestine and the Ambassador of Israel, and both are aware of my intentions in undertaking this study tour. I believe that the IFP, as a champion of negotiated settlement, has a responsibility to engage with and extend a hand of friendship to anyone seeking peace for their people.