Hospital naming snub irks IFP head

2013-01-31 00:00

MANGOSUTHU Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, attacked the ANC for overlooking him on its guest list for the ceremony on Tuesday during which King George V Hospital in Durban was renamed King Dinizulu Hospital.

Buthelezi said he, the direct descendant of Dinizulu, attended the event only after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini had intervened.

“Were it not for the king’s command at the eleventh hour, I would not have been present as my mother’s father was honoured.

“It seems absurd. But over the years of slights and insults, I have become accustomed to the ANC belligerence towards me,” he wrote in his online newsletter.

He said he found there was still a rift between him and the ANC, despite his having served in the cabinets of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, his friendship with Mandela and his contribution to the liberation struggle and reconciliation.

KwaZulu-Natal provincial government spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said Buthelezi was respected and it was not intended to get involved in a public spat with him.

“The people of KwaZulu-Natal know that Prince Buthelezi is always invited to government functions and he will always be invited like all other leaders,” Sibiya said.

“It’s unfortunate that he was not invited to the event and this was not deliberate,” he added.

At Tuesday’s event, Buthelezi was given the honour of reading the plaque and Zwelithini asked him to lead a song in praise of Dinizulu.

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