South Africa

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa says he’ll ensure the party remains ‘a force to be reckoned with’

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Velenkosini Hlabisa said he’ll work hard to maintain the party’s political stature. 

“I want to place on record that we will strive to ensure the IFP remains a strong force to be reckoned with, to rebuild our country as we move on as the nation of South Africa,” Hlabisa said.

Speaking at the funeral service of the late IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Saturday, Hlabisa said he’d learnt a great deal from the departed politician. 

ALSO READ: WATCH: Zulu Nation gathers to bid farewell to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Valuable lessons

“He taught us the importance of self-help…and helping the vulnerable, especially women and children, Hlabisa said.

The IFP president said forgiveness was the greatest lesson he’d learnt from Buthelezi.  

“He faced the immense pain of being unjustly vilified by the very leaders whose mandate he was acting [on], yet he refused to abandon the mandate – he forgave again and again,” Hlabisa said.

Reflecting on some of Buthelezi’s notable achievements, Hlabisa said the late member of parliament (MP) had contributed to building more that 6,500 classrooms and the establishment of townships like Ulundi – which he said was a “forest” before Buthelezi’s development endeavours. 

ALSO READ: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be laid to rest later today

Grateful

The IFP leader thanked president Cyril Ramaphosa for affording Buthelezi a state funeral despite political differences. 

“I want to thank you President Ramaphosa for not using your political spectacles, but honored accordingly the great son of Africa,” Hlabisa said to Ramaphosa.

Hlabisa also acknowledged the presence of former South African presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, as well as former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanje – thanking them for attendance.

“You know the journey you’ve travelled with the Prince of KwaPhindangene. Your presence to honour him speaks volumes,” Hlabisa remarked. 

He also thanked opposition party leaders Julius Malema, John Steenhuisen, Bantu Holomisa and Mmusi Maimane for attending the late IFP founder’s funeral service. 

Buthelezi who passed away last Saturday, will be laid to rest at KwaPhindangene, KZN on Saturday. 

ALSO READ: King Misuzulu will not be attending Buthelezi’s funeral: Here’s why