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Buthelezi, Mangosuthu Gatsha (1928–)

Subject History

Place Southern Africa » South Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


Zulu chief and South African politician. Descended from the Zulu king Cetshwayo he became hereditary chief of the Buthelezi clan in 1953 and adviser to two Zulu kings. He was expelled from Fort Hare, a university college for Africans, in 1952 for ANC Youth League activities and, hostile to verwoerd's apartheid , he opposed the creation of KwaZulu as a bantustan (homeland) for the Zulus. Chief Minister of KwaZulu from 1972, Buthelezi formed Inkatha, a political movement to give Africans pride in their own culture and to take a stand against racism and separate development. By the early 1980s he had moved away from the ANC, as he rejected socialism, its armed struggle to overthrow the government, and international sanctions, as they deprived blacks of jobs. These attitudes made Buthelezi very popular with the South African and many foreign governments and with liberal whites, but he was denounced by black consciousness leaders as a collaborator and began a bitter sruggle with the ANC, as he sought to make Inkatha the largest African political organization in the country. He rejected ‘independence’ for KwaZulu, offered by the South African government, as he wanted a federal state in which KwaZulu would have a major role, as the seven million Zulus were South Africa's largest ethnic group. In the Soweto riots (1976) he came down on the side of order and was accused of being a government ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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