The funeral service of the late founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is currently underway in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Chanting crowds have gathered at the Mangosuthu Buthelezi Regional Stadium to bid farewell to the late politician.
A guard of honour was formed by the roadside as the funeral procession made its way from KwaPhindangene to the stadium named after the late IFP leader.
ALSO READ: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be laid to rest later today
President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and former president Thabo Mbeki are some of the high-profile dignitaries in attendance.
Buthelezi served as Minister of Home Affairs under Mbeki’s administration from 1999 to 2004. He’d previously held the same position from 1994, prior to Mbeki’s presidency.
The late politician also acted as the nation’s president on numerous occasions during his tenure as Home Affairs’ Minister.
Former SA presidents Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe, as well as former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo are also attending the funeral service of the late IFP leader.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a eulogy during the Category 1 state funeral service, which will include military honors and national flag fly-by during half-mast.
Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba who led the procession into the stadium is set to share the sermon, fulfilling what’s reportedly one of Buthelezi’s wishes as a follower of the Christian faith.
ALSO READ: WATCH LIVE: IFP remember Mangosuthu Buthelezi at memorial
Final resting place
Buthelezi’s remains were taken to his home in KwaPhindangene on Friday as part of customary practice.
IFP national executive committee (NEC) member, Albert Mncwango said Buthelezi’s body was taken to his home to give the family space to perform the necessary Buthelezi clan rituals before the burial on Saturday, reported The Witness.
“uMtwana Ka-Phindangene [Buthelezi] will be kept at his home overnight. His body will the be transported to the Prince Mangosuthu Stadium her in Ulundi for the funeral service,” he said.
Buthelezi will be laid to rest in Kwa-Phindangene later on Saturday.
“Amabutho (Zulu regiments) will escort his body to his home at KwaPhindangene for burial,” Mncwango said.
Buthelezi passed away last Saturday at the age of 95.
ALSO READ: Four touching moments from Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s memorial service