Thousands of mourners had gathered in Ulundi, South Africa, an eastern town in the country on Saturday, September 16 for the state funeral of veteran politician and Zulu prince, Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Buthelezi had been a controversial figure during the apartheid liberation struggle because of his fierce rivalry with the African National Congress–ANC. The news of his passing had been announced only last week. He was 95 years as at the time of his death.
The deceased founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party–IFP, had served two terms as the Minister of Home Affairs in the post-apartheid South-African government after reuniting with the ruling ANC rival, Nelson Mandela.
By the time Buthelezi decided to forgo the feud, at least 20,000 people had been slain, leaving and hundreds of thousands of people refugees. Critics have since used this event to dub the Zulu prince a warlord.
Some of the mourners had been dressed in traditional Zulu outfits sewn with leopard and other animal skins and they wielded shields crafted from cow hides.
A South African media had reported that two giraffes and six impalas were killed and skinned as part of the ritual preparations.
The late Zulu chief had retired as the IFP leader in 2019. He underwent a surgery for back pain in July 2023 but was later re-admitted to a health centre when it did not abate.
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