STATEMENT BY PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI 
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY


THE DEATH OF MAKGATHO MANDELA

January 6, 2005

It was with profound sadness that I heard the sad news that President Mandela's son, Makgatho, has died. My wife, Irene and I extend our deepest condolences, love and prayers to Mr Mandela and his family at this sad time.

I would like to pay tribute to Madiba for his courageous decision to speak out about the cause of his son's death. I, for one, am not surprised at Madiba's decision to do so because he has always been not only the father of his children, but also of the entire nation.

Such courage and selflessness is the mark of the man.

I believe the moral authority of his action today will do much to tear down the walls of stigma and silence surrounding this disease. Mr Mandela has expressed not only his loss, but also that of hundreds of thousands of parents who have lost their children to this dreadful disease and whose story is never heard.

As I have repeatedly said, and as Madiba so powerfully said today, HIV/Aids is a disease like any other. The only way we can conquer it is by a united approach.

Irene and I share Madiba's pain. In our African tradition, we never expect parents to bury their children. I pray that Madiba will derive some comfort from the knowledge that he is in the thoughts and prayers of millions of people who love him in South Africa and across the globe.