South African Inkatha Freedom Party Leader Buthelezi Announces Second Child Dead of AIDS-Related Causes
August 9, 2004
South African Inkatha Freedom Party Leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi on Saturday at the funeral of his 48-year-old daughter Princess Mandisi Sibukakonke said that she died from AIDS-related causes, Agence France-Presse reports. Buthelezi has had two adult children die from the disease in four months, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 8/9). In April, Buthelezi told thousands of mourners attending the funeral of his 53-year-old son Prince Nelisuzulu Benedict Buthelezi that he died of AIDS-related causes. Buthelezi, who previously has been critical of the government's slow response to HIV/AIDS, has said that HIV/AIDS is the biggest challenge facing the country (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/3). Buthelezi is "one of the few public figures to speak candidly" about HIV/AIDS, according to Reuters/Washington Post. "Tragically, Mandisi's untimely death should have been averted, for she also succumbed to the disease that is unmercifully mowing down many of our people," Buthelezi said, adding, "As you know, this is the second child that I have lost this year to this dreadful disease, the pandemic of AIDS. When will our nation and government comprehend that we have no greater calling and mission than to deal with this terrible emergency?" (Reuters/Washington Post, 8/8). Buthelezi also "questioned" the role of the government and "ordinary South Africans" in the fight against the disease, the South African Press Association reports. "We have done too little," he said, adding, "How much more suffering and pain shall we bear before those who have the responsibility open their hearts?" (South African Press Association, 8/7).
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