How Old Is Mangosuthu Buthelezi Now and Where Are His Children?

If a South African high school student was asked to pen down a detailed history of his fatherland, and he fails to make mention of the name Mangosuthu Buthelezi, that history will almost be incomplete. Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a Zulu-born prince who played a major role in fashioning the outcome of events that today South Africans call their history.

During the era of racial segregation in South Africa, Mangosuthu Buthelezi was one of the most prominent black leaders who played a major role in abolishing racial segregation. In the course of his life, he has held over six major leadership positions. After creating Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975, he remained its leader until 2019, when he decided he did not want to be re-elected as the leader anymore.

Quick Profile of Mangosuthu Buthelezi

  • Full name: Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi
  • Age: 92 years old
  • Date of birth: August 27, 1928
  • Place of birth: Mahlabathini, KwaZulu, South Africa
  • Nationality: South African
  • Occupation: Zulu chief
  • Famous for: Being the leader of the IFP
  • Relationship Status: Widowed
  • Children: 8 (5 deceased)

Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a Nonagenarian

Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi was born in Mahlabathini, KwaZulu, South Africa, into the Royal family of Chief Mathole Buthelezi and Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu. His mother was the granddaughter of King Cetshwayo. His birth date is recorded as August 27, 1928, which makes him 92 years old – a nonagenarian. As the firstborn son of Chief Mathole KaDinuzulu, he became the next Zulu chief after his father’s demise. Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a powerful and resilient leader who has held over 6 prominent positions in key political and non-political structures in the space of 32 years. During this time, he recorded his name in about 20 awards.

He Started His Political Journey While He Was Still At The University

A younger Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s interest in politics has been a deep-rooted one. Since his university days, he has been interested in politics – an interest that got him expelled from school when he led a student boycott. He became a student of the University of Fort Hare in 1948, and there he joined the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) but was unable to complete his college education as he got expelled two years later – in 1950. He would later complete his college education at the University of Natal.

However, while at the University of Fort Hare, he met Robert Mugabe and Robert Sobukwe. Being a son of a Royal family gave him the privilege of having a university education because he was born when quality education was not accessible by the blacks.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi Became a Chief at 25

As the first son of Chief Mathole Buthelezi, Mangosuthu Buthelezi was meant to inherit his father’s chieftaincy title when he dies. Sadly, his father passed on in 1953, and he became the Zulu chief. Seventeen years after he became the Zulu chief, at the age of 42, he was appointed the KwaZulu territorial authority leader.

At 48, Mangosuthu Buthelezi became the chief Minister of quasi-independent Bantustan of KwaZulu. During racial segregation in South Africa, the Black Consciousness Movement made Mangosuthu an Apartheid regime collaborator.

He Founded Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) At the Age of 47

Buthelezi, who was already a member of the African National Congress (ANC), founded his own political party called Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975 and had to leave ANC. He left on a good note; however, their good relationship did not last for long.

The members of the Black Consciousness Movement, who made him an Apartheid regime collaborator, soon had resentment towards his political indulgence. But that did not discourage him from engaging in politics, and while at it, he never failed to fight for the rights of black South Africans.

In 1974, Buthelezi Sealed a Racial Peace Agreement in South Africa

Mangosuthu Buthelezi signed the Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith on January 4, 1974. It aimed to eradicate racial segregation and establish equal Rights for both black and white South Africans. This peace agreement was the first of its kind and was accepted by the major traditional rulers in South Africa.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi Worked With Nelson Mandela As Minister

Mangosuthu ButheleziAnother name that is very paramount when narrating South African history is Nelson Mandela, one of South Africa’s iconic freedom fighters. Nelson Mandela, the first post-apartheid president of South Africa, ensured that Buthelezi was one of his ministers. Initially, Buthelezi was unwilling to contest at the 1994 elections, but after a meeting on April 8, with Mandela, he changed his mind. 

His mind change didn’t come without a cost; he was offered the Zulu King’s title and promised foreign mediation in Inkatha’s claim to be an autonomous community. After the 1994 election, Nelson Mandela was declared winner, and Mangosuthu was appointed the Minister of Home Affairs, and in 1999 he retained the position.

Working with the first post-apartheid president vicariously made Buthelezi the first post-apartheid Minister of Home Affairs at the age of 66.

A Look At All The Positions Mangosuthu Buthelezi Has Held

  • Member of University of KwaZulu-Natal Foundation and Alumni (Present)
  • Chairman of Traditional Leaders in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature (Present)
  • Minister of Home Affairs (May 1994–July 2004)
  • Chief Minister of the KwaZulu Government (February 1977–April 1994)
  • Leader of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) (March 1975–August 2019)
  • Chief Executive Councillor of the KwaZulu Government  (April 1972–January 1977)
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Zulu Territorial Authority (June 1970–March 1972)
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Mangosuthu Buthelezi Lost His Wife Irene Audrey Thandekile in 2019Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a veteran in South African politics and racial peace settlement and a veteran in marriage. He has been married to only one woman all his life; Buthelezi tied the knot with his better half- Irene Audrey Thandekile on the 2nd of July 1952, and they were married for 67 years before her demise in March 2019. The union between Mangosuthu and Irene was blessed with eight children, but only three are alive.

Their Union Produced Eight Children; Only Three Are Still Alive

1. Princess Phumzile Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1953
  • No. of children: 2
  • Occupation: IFP Women’s Brigade (Chairperson)
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Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Princess Phumzile is the first child of Mangosuthu and Irene. She was born one year after their marriage in 1953. Princess Phumzile’s marital status is currently unknown, but she gave birth to two children – Prince Nkosinathi Buthelezi and Prince Bongimpumeleo Khumalo. Sadly, Princess Phumzile’s first child, Prince Nkosinathi, died in a car accident in 2002 while her second child, Prince Bongimpumeleo, is still alive. She is currently the chairperson of the IFP Women’s Brigade.

2. Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1955
  • No. of children: 2
  • Occupation: N/A

Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s first male child is Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi, and he was born in 1955 and is currently -1 years old. Like his elder sister, Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi’s marital status is unknown, but he has two children – Princess Nokuthula Buthelezi and Prince Zakhithi Buthelezi. Prince Zuzifa is next in line to inherit his father’s chieftaincy title when his father is late.

3. Late Princess Mandisi Sibukakonke Buthelezi

  • Date of birth: N/A
  • Died: August 5, 2004
  • No. of children: 1
  • Occupation: N/A

Princess Mandisi’s date of birth is unknown, but she died on August 5, 2004, due to HIV/AIDS. Before she died, she had a son called Prince Zamokuhle. However, what she did for a living and her relationship status before her death is unknown.

4. Late Princess Mabhuku Snikwakonke Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1957
  • Died: 1966
  • No. of children: nil
  • Occupation: nil

Nothing much is known about the third daughter of Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The only confirmed information about Princess Mabhuku is her year of birth and death. She was born in 1957 and died in 1966 at the age of nine in a car crash.

5. Late Princess Lethuxolo Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1959
  • Died: July 27, 2008
  • No. of children: 1
  • Occupation: N/A

Princess Lethuxolo is also late. She was born in 1959 and died from a car crash at the age of 46. She is survived by a daughter, Princess Latoya Buthelezi, who is currently a musician.

6. Late Prince Nelisuzulu Benedict Buthelezi

  • Date of birth: March 21, 1951
  • Died: April 29, 2004
  • No. of children: 3
  • Occupation: N/A

Prince Nelisuzulu was born on March 21, 1951, and died in April 2004 from the deadly HIV/AIDS. Before his death, he had three sons – Prince Mongezi, Prince Sibonelo, and Prince Simingaye Buthelezi.

7. Late Prince Phumaphesheya Gregory Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1963
  • Died: June 20, 2012
  • No. of children: 3
  • Occupation: N/A

Prince Phumaphesheya was the last son of Mangosuthu Buthelezi. He was born in 1963 and died on June 20, 2012, from drug-resistant tuberculosis. His occupation and relationship status is unknown, but like most of his other siblings, he has three children – Prince Nkululeko, Princess Nqobile, and Princess Sphesihle Buthelezi.

8. Princess Sibuyiselwe Angela Buthelezi

  • Year of birth: 1969
  • No. of children: 1
  • Occupation: N/A

The last child of Mangosuthu and Irene Buthelezi is Princess Angela, born in 1969 and is currently 52 years old. She is in a relationship with Nigerian businessman Holstein Ewaen Edayi, with whom she shares a daughter named Princess Ntandoyenkosi Nkeiruka Buthelezi.

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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes
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