Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi — the politician who has seen it all

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Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi — the politician who has seen it all

Decades after visiting him was out of the question thanks to his own student activism, Sunday Times editor S’thembiso Msomi sits down with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on his turf

S’THEMBISO MSOMI

Just before the dawn of democracy, a group of us led thousands of pupils from KwaMashu and Ntuzuma townships to the local school’s circuit inspector’s office. We delivered a memorandum containing a list of demands. It was addressed to the then KwaZulu minister of education, who also happened to be the chief minister of the homeland as well as the president of Inkatha, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

In the memo, we complained about the overcrowding of classes, the shortage of teachers, lack of safety in schools and an assortment of other problems that were the reality of black education under apartheid.

Subsequent to the march, a couple of us went into hiding, fearing reprisals from the local police. ..

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