Mangosuthu’s divisive legacy is difficult to reconcile: Analyst

todaySeptember 13, 2023 67

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Professor of African politics at UNISA, Kealeboga Maphunye, says Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s legacy will forever be a contentious issue.
He says the IFP founder played a huge role in South Africa’s difficult history, which makes it difficult to reconcile.
Umntwana wa KwaPhindangene will be buried on Saturday in a Special Official category 1 Funeral.
A category 1 funeral is the highest honour afforded to individuals who have served the country.
Professor Maphunye says Mangosuthu’s legacy is tainted by the scars that many still carry from the brutality and blood that was shed at the hands of the IFP.
“I was there in 1976 when the Inkatha attackers were attacking in the township, saying they want to punish the students during the hey days of the Soweto uprising, who dared to challenge Mangosuthu saying he was not a hero and was actually betraying the liberation struggle.
“So, the difficulty of his legacy comes in situations whereby those who were at the brunt of that kind of treatment, many of whom died.
“So, to people like those , you do not expect them to feel that he deserves a red carpet to be rolled out for him and to be given such accolades and even the highest honour,” says Maphunye.
Professor Maphunye says Mangosuthu’s antagonistic legacy and death has opened the window for a greater conversation on the merits that one is afforded a special funeral.
“I think there needs to be a discussion on who exactly deserves a category 1 funeral. My view, It would appear that it is only reserved for prominent politicians or governing party politicians, I mean those in the ANC.
“So, if you are a person that belongs to another liberation for, a category 1 funeral would be very difficult accolade for you to receive despite your contribution to the struggle.”
The think tank says it might have been difficult for Ramaphosa to decide on affording Buthelezi a state funeral.
“It being the highest honour in the country, one would expect the most impeccable and very heroic career, but because of the contentious nature of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s legacy, it becomes difficult for one to say , Yes this was justified.”
He adds that many who are on the receiving end, such as those who were trained by Inkatha and Amabutho, would point to the flaws of such an honour.
Buthelezi’s death has been met by a clear divide on social media, with some individuals remembering the years of the deadly fighting between the ANC and IFP.



Thousands of delegates gathered to pay homage to the late Zulu Prime Minister at the KwaPhindangene Royal Palace in Ulundi on Wednesday.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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