Buthelezi’s daughter killed in crash

2008-07-27 00:00

The 48-year-old daughter of Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi died in an accident in Melmoth, Zululand, early yesterday morning.

According to the KZN Transport Department, Princess Lethuxolo Buthelezi lost control of the double cab bakkie she was driving and hit a barrier on the side of the road. The vehicle rolled over and landed on an embankment. She died on impact.

A male passenger, whose name has not yet been released by the police, was taken to kwaMagwaza Hospital in Melmoth, where he is in a critical condition.

Lethuxolo is the third of the seven children of Buthelezi and his wife Irene to have died over the last four years.

In 2004, both a son and daughter died from complications as a result of HIV/Aids.

Buthelezi has been lauded for speaking openly on the pandemic. At the time of his son’s death he said: “In the past two-and-a-half months, I have buried two of my own children because of HIV/Aids. Only in a time of war do parents bury their children as often as we do. So much mourning and [so many] funerals characterise our lives,” he said.

The Buthelezis had three sons and four daughters.

Lethuxolo is the third daughter to have died: the family lost a nine-year-old daughter in 1966. They are left with three surviving children — two sons and a daughter.

The office of the IFP president yesterday confirmed the death of the princess in a car accident yesterday morning.

Private secretary Jon Cayzer said: “Prince Buthelezi and his wife Princess Irene are simply devastated by the tragedy”.

On behalf of the Buthelezi family, Cayzer thanked King Goodwill Zwelithini, President Thabo Mbeki and others for their condolences.

The king expressed his condolences during a press briefing at his palace in kwaNongoma yesterday.

He received the news about the accident while in the midst of his 60th birthday celebrations.

KZN Premier S’bu Ndebele said his thoughts and prayers were with the family during this tragic time.

Cayzer said funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

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