Zulu nation King Goodwill Zwelithini’s son Prince Butho has died, the Inkatha Freedom Party president and traditional prime minister to the Zulu Monarch Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced on Friday.
In a statement released by his party, Buthelezi said Butho succumbed to a long illness on Thursday. It was reported earlier this year that he beat his long battle with tuberculosis (TB).
“Prince Butho was the son of the king’s second wife, Queen Buhle kaMathe. He was still in the prime of his life. Understandably, this tragedy has devastated the royal family.
“I spent the greater part of yesterday (Thursday) with His Majesty as condolences were expressed and the family absorbed this difficult news. It was agreed that the funeral should be held on Sunday at Dlamahlahla Palace, following which Prince Butho will be laid to rest in the royal cemetery in Mahashini,” he said.
Buthelezi said the tragic loss prompted him to engage with KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu, to discuss the postponement of the King Shaka Day celebrations, which were scheduled to take place on Sunday.
“Out of respect for the royal family, it was agreed that the celebrations will be moved to Saturday 29 September, to allow the family space to grieve. At an appropriate time and after consultations, a date will also be announced for the second Imbizo of the Zulu Nation on the issue of Ingonyama Trust land, so that His Majesty the King can inform the nation of developments since our first Imbizo of 4 July 2018.
“On behalf of the Zulu nation, we ask that you keep His Majesty and the family in your prayers as they walk through this painful valley of loss. We also ask that you publicise the new date of the King Shaka Day celebrations as wisely as possible, so that this necessary postponement will not hinder a successful celebration,” he said.