Independant On-line, My daughter died of Aids, reveals Buthelezi, 9 August 2004

By Thobani Ngqulunga

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has spoken of his great regret at having spent so little time with his children, two of whom he lost to HIV and Aids this year.

Sharing his pain with the rest of the country, Buthelezi said at the weekend that he wished he had spent more time with his daughter Mandisi, 48.

Speaking at her funeral on Saturday, he said:

"I cannot stop thinking about Mandisi, thinking about the few precious moments we spent together - and the many others we spent apart because of commitment in politics and the public service."

Earlier this year he also lost his son Nelisuzulu Buthelezi to Aids. The public acknowledgement of the disease that killed his children has earned Buthelezi praise from HIV and Aids organisations.

The Treatment Action Campaign on Sunday sent its condolences to the family. TAC spokesperson Sipho Mthathi said: "We hope that South Africans have now learned that HIV/Aids is not a disease that affects only the poor, but affects everyone. We hope the government will speed up the rollout of anti-retroviral drugs."

Mazwi Mngadi, provincial co-ordinator of the National Association of People Living with Aids, said: "It is encouraging to see a leader like Buthelezi coming out to reveal the cause of death of his daughter."

Mandisi left an eight-year-old son Zamokuhle, her two parents, two sisters and two brothers.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August 09, 2004




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