Buthelezi’s sad farewell to ‘adopted son’ Oriani-Ambrosini

2014-08-25 00:00

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi yesterday said he had not dreamt that he would bury his former adviser and party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini.

“In fact, it is actually my misfortune that I buried five of my own children. I will be burying another of my children,” Buthelezi said when paying tribute to Oriani-Ambrosini at a memorial service in Durban yesterday. He took his own life last Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

Buthelezi described Oriani-Ambrosini as “South Africa’s greatest adopted son”.

“Over the next 23 years we became brothers-in-arms, fellow warriors for liberty and fellow servants of the people.”

Echoing Buthelezi, Narend Singh, the party’s national treasurer, said Oriani-Amborisini was like a son to the party leader.

“He was treated with love, respect and understanding,” Singh said.

Recalling the country’s negotiations in the early 1990s, Buthelezi said his “adopted son” had wielded his mastery of constitutional law like a sword.

“His astute observation and tactical advice ensured that the IFP won several key victories at the negotiation table, not least the securing of provinces for South Africa.”

He also said the late politician was a nightmare to those opposing the party’s view on federalism and a decentralised government.

Patrick Falconer, a lawyer and adviser to Buthelezi, hailed Oriani-Ambrosini for foresight on legal cases they had worked on together. “He would not rest until the task was completed. He was … a workaholic. He expected work ethic of the highest order,” said an emotional Falconer.

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