Mangosuthu Buthelezi

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Buthelezi (1983)

Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (born August 27, 1928 in Mahlabatini , now in KwaZulu-Natal ) is a former South African politician. From 1975 to 2019 he was chairman of the Zulu party Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which he founded, and was South African Minister of the Interior from 1994 to 2004 .


Youth and education

Buthelezi is descended from the last independent Zulu king Cetshwayo , his mother was Princess Magogo , a daughter of King Dinuzulu , and his grandfather Myamana Buthelezi was Prime Minister under Cetshwayo.

Buthelezi began his school days in 1943 in the Impumalanga Primary School , which he attended until 1943. He received his high school degree from Adams College in Amanzimtoti , after which Buthelezi studied history and Bantu administration at the South African Native College . Here he was inspired by his lecturer Zachariah Keodirelang Matthews , which is why he became a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), got in touch with Robert Sobukwe , the chairman of the ANCYL student group, and got to know Robert Mugabe . After participating in a protest against the visit of the University of South African Governor General Gideon Brand van Zyl, he was relegated , but was in a roundabout way through the University of Natal with a BA finish their studies. From 1951 to 1952 he worked initially as an office clerk for the Bantu administration , then for a year as an employee of a law firm in Durban .

Functions during apartheid

In 1953 he returned to Mahlabatini and took over the position of chief of the Buthelezi tribe of the Zulu; The provincial government did not recognize him in this function until 1957. In 1964, he played the role of his great-grandfather King Cetshwayo in the film Zulu as an actor . From 1970 to 1972 he was Chief Executive Officer of the Zululand Homeland , and then Chief Advisor to the Zululand Regional Authority until 1976. In 1976 the apartheid government appointed him chief minister of the now called KwaZulu homeland, which is regarded as autonomous ; he held the office until 1994. Buthelezi rejected de jure independence for KwaZulu, such as that granted to the Transkei by the South African government . In 1974 he and the liberal politician Harry Schwarz of the Progressive Party signed the Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith , in which a non-violent end to apartheid was called for. During this time he founded the South African Black Alliance (SABA).

Buthelezi saw the ANC, shaped since the death of Albert John Luthulis von Xhosa , as a competitor, which among other things led him to found his own party, the IFP. He rejected the idea of ​​a South African "unitary state" and sought a federal solution under ethnic aspects. Against this background, Buthelezi was built up in the 1980s by conservative circles in the West as an alternative to Nelson Mandela as a black leader. Buthelezi was accused of collaboration with the white minority regime by anti-apartheid activists , if only because of his political function in the homeland of KwaZulu. Although he demanded the unconditional release of Mandela, on the other hand he refused sanctions against the apartheid regime.

Functions after apartheid

Buthelezi represented the IFP in the negotiations for a democratic South Africa in the early 1990s. As a result, violent clashes began in parts of South Africa between supporters of the Zulu-dominated IFP and the Xhosa-dominated ANC. Buthelezis Inkatha largely boycotted the negotiations between the South African government under Frederik Willem de Klerk , in office since 1989 , the ANC and other parties on the end of apartheid and the future of South Africa . Due to the demographic strength of the Zulu and their geographical distribution, which was not limited to KwaZulu, the IFP had a following that extended well beyond this homeland. It was all the more difficult that Buthelezi announced that he would boycott South Africa's first free elections, scheduled for April 1994 . He gave in only a few days before the start of the elections after mediation by the Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini . The already printed ballot papers had to be supplemented with stickers with the Inkatha logo. The IFP achieved around 10.5% of the vote nationwide and an absolute majority in KwaZulu-Natal. She became involved in the government of national unity in 1994 under the new President Mandela. Buthelezi took over the post of interior minister , but without having responsibility for the police in his department.

Buthelezi remained a minister until 2004. He is still chairman of the IFP and member of the South African parliament, head of the Buthelezi tribe and chairman of the regional authority for the Buthelezi. The IFP received 2.4% of the vote in South Africa in the 2014 parliamentary elections under Buthelezi and 10.9% of the vote in the election of the Provincial Legislature in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2019 he declared that he no longer wanted to run as party chairman and was replaced in August of the same year by the former IFP general secretary Velenkosini Hlabisa .


Buthelezi was married to Irene Mzila Buthelezi from 1952 until her death in 2019. They had three sons and five daughters, of whom three had children when their mother died.



  • For freedom and reconciliation. Published by Horst-Klaus Hofmann, Gütersloher Verlagshaus Mohn, Gütersloh 1982, ISBN 3-579-01056-5 .
  • Buthelezi Report. The main report. Richarz, St. Augustin 1982, ISBN 3-88345-361-7 .
  • South Africa, my vision. Busse Seewald, Herforth 1990, ISBN 3-512-00976-X .

Web links

Commons : Mangosuthu Buthelezi  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Shelag Gastrow: Who's Who in South African Politics. Number 5 . Johannesburg 1995, pp. 17-27
  2. ^ Paddy Harper: Leader's principal aim to build IFP. Mail & Guardian of September 27, 2019 (English), accessed on September 27, 2019
  3. Fanele Mhlongo: Buthelezi had a very loving relationship with his wife: Singh. of March 29, 2019 (English), accessed April 4, 2019
  4. a b c d e f Profile of Buthelezi ( Memento from December 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) in Who's Who South Africa.
  5. ^ A b c Government Communication and Information System South Africa ( Memento of November 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive )