Buthelezi expressed regret over family time in interview with SABC

The late founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Mangosuthu Buthelezi, expressed regret for not dedicating more time to his children. He said this during an earlier interview with SABC News Nonkululeko Hlophe.

Buthelezi married his wife Irene in 1952. Together they had eight children. Buthelezi dedicated his life to serving his country as a statesman and at the helm of the IFP.

Buthelezi died at his home in Mahlabathini in northern KwaZulu-Natal at the age of 95 in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi l Remembered as a family man

Buthelezi was born on the 27 August 1928 – a South African politician and amaZulu tribe leader who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975.

He was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu government during the apartheid system until 1994. Buthelezi was a Minister of Home Affairs of South Africa from 1994 to 2004.

Princess Magogo

Buthelezi until his last days he spoke fondly of his mother. He is the son of Princess Magogo ka Dinizulu, a direct descendent of the Zulu dynasty. His mother passed the love of music to Buthelezi.

“Yes, my mother used to sing all the time, everyday therefore she taught me that love for music for all music of different kind including indigenous music, traditional music and ancestors and some religious songs about Christ crucifixion and she also plays what we call amarabi and playing auto hub she did teach me to love music,” Buthelezi explained.


Buthelezi often sang, even during his days in Parliament. When asked about his favourite song, he broke out and sang one of King Dinuzulu’s hymns. “One of the things Buthelezi regrets was not spending enough time with his children.”

“I have put on memorial stones on their graves and my wife and I still pained of cause by it we still shed a tear or so when we remember them I miss my children really you can imagine that God has given you eight children and five of them are no longer with us we are left with three only it is very painful and I regret as you say I did not spend a much time with them as should I wanted to but I think that is how life goes because in any nation there are people who must sacrifice for the sake of the nation I think that is a painful sacrifice I have made my children I did not have as much time as I should have given to them.)

Buthelezi always wore an HIV/Aids ribbon in remembrance of some of his children, who died as a result of the disease.

“I would wear this till I die which is an insignia of HIV/AIDS because three of them died of HIV/Aids because I was the first public figure to actually talk publicly about my children who have died of aids to announce it because there tend to be a stigma people always trying to hide the death because there was some kind of stigma I was trying to get rid of the stigma to show that HIV/aids is an illness just like any other illness and of course our leader too Mr. Mandela after me when Inkosi Makgatho his son died too he announced the same for the same reason too.”

Asked how Buthelezi would want younger generations to remember him, he said he would want to be remembered as a servant of the people.


Buthelezi prided himself that under his leadership in the KwaZulu government he built schools and Colleges of Education along with the Mangosuthu University of Technology. He said he believed in education for liberation.

“Well I would say that the younger generation should know that during the darkest hour after the killing of our children in Soweto and then the reaction of the liberation movements was that we should boycott education then I differed when the ANC liberation now education later I countered that with education for liberation so in the area called KwaZulu I built schools, I built Colleges of Education not only that I actually even built a Technikon which today is the Mangosuthu University of Technology I started a bank.”

Buthelezi lost his wife in 2019.

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