Zwakele Mncwango Pays Tribute to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Note to editor: The tribute to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was made by ActionSA KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Chairperson, Zwakele Mncwango during ActionSA’s inaugural policy conference.

May I request that all men stand up. I’m not discriminating, but it is our culture. Can all males please stand up and please remove their hats.

Shenge! Shenge! Sokalisa! Sokalisa!

Thank you.

I don’t know where to start talking about a hero like Shenge. If I were to describe Shenge, we’d run out of time.

I’m here to pay tribute to a great leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Prince of Kwa-Phindangene, the Traditional Minister of the Zulu Monarch and the nation, and the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

This is a man who has shown commitment to South Africa and its people. We have learnt a lot from Prince Mangosuthu, mainly respect and integrity.

He was a champion of his people and he played a prominent role in the struggle against Apartheid. He played a significant role in the struggle for equality, and was a voice of reason in the South African Parliament. Whenever chaos erupted, he was the only one who gave calm.

But I think what we have also learnt from the Prince is that, it is possible to run a government and have clean governance. We saw this when he led the KwaZulu-Natal government where he built a total of 6 000 schools over a period of 18 years.

I’m not sure how many schools our current government has built thus far, but Shenge built 6 000 schools in KZN.

Shenge introduced what we used to call Rand-to-Rand programmes, where traditional council and government donated R1 each towards building schools.

This shows that traditional leadership always had a role to play in the betterment of our province, and it is for this reason that ActionSA respects the role of traditional leaders.

Most importantly, Shenge made huge contributions towards nature reserve. He built nature reserves through KZN’s natural resources.

Because he was a visionary leader, he introduced iThala Bank which was able to assist black communities from rural areas, because he understood that banks would not give funds or assistance to black people.

He established Mangosuthu Technicon, now known as Mangosuthu University of Technology. Again, he did this because Universities would not enrol black students, prompting him to go all out and look for funding to build the university. Now ask yourself, how many universities have been built by the current government?.

We are especially proud as the Zulu nation because Shenge protected our monarchy during difficult times. We talk about the Zulu Monarchy being respected throughout the world because of uMntwana wa kwa-Phindangene, who fought tirelessly for our monarch.

He also protected our land through the use of Ingonyama Trust. The 30% of land owned by the Trust has been protected and we thank uMtwana wa kwa-Phindangene for that.

He reinforced Zulu culture around the world, and we are proud that the Zulu culture is respected globally, and so are AmaKhosi.

Today we have iNkosi Mthuli amongst us who is a delegate. Ndabezitha!

We are grateful to Shenge for all that he has done for the AmaZulu nation and our country. His work speaks for itself.

Shenge! Shenge! Sokalisa! Sokalisa!

Thank you.