Mangosuthu Buthelezi's estranged son dies

By Drum Digital
07 April 2015

Leader of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lost a son following his being admitted to hospital after suffering from severe epileptic fits.

Business Day reports that Themba Buthelezi is the sixth child of the leader's to pass away over the past few years and was one of a number of his offspring that was living in "squalor" due to their father's lack of public acknowledgment regarding their paternity.

Themba, who was wheelchair-bound, joined IFP's splinter party National Freedom Party (NFP) which reportedly further drove him away from having a concrete relationship with his father.

Tutu Buthelezi reportedly broke the news to the media about his brother's admission into hospital and how he had passed away on earlier on Saturday when he had gone to visit him.

"It is a sad day for us as a family to lose my brother like this," Tutu told the newspaper.

Before Themba joined the NFP, he was reported to be living in a dilapidated house but he was later given a home not so far from his father's following his election into NFP leadership in the 2011 local government elections.

Themba was 63 at the time of his passing.

IFP national chairman Blessed Gwala has been quoted by the daily as saying that "the party shared Mr Buthelezi's private grief for his son."

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