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Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi

Buthelezi, Mangosuthu Gatsha (Ashpenaz Nathan Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi)äshˈpĕnäzˌ, mängˌgōsōˈtō gätˈshä bōtəlāˈzē, 1928–, South African political leader. A Zulu chief, he served as chief minister of the bantustan KwaZulu (1970–94, initially as head of the Zululand Territorial Authority; see Zululand) but opposed independence for the territory. Originally an activist within the African National Congress (ANC), Buthelezi revived Inkatha, a Zulu cultural group, in 1975 as an antiapartheid and Zulu nationalist organization; it later became the Inkatha Freedom party. In the 1980s he became a prominent critic of the ANC and its support for guerrilla warfare and international sanctions against apartheid. He favored a solution to apartheid based on tribalism instead of a one-adult, one-vote policy and was accused of collaboration with government-backed security forces. The early 1990s saw increasingly violent clashes between Inkatha and ANC supporters; the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (2003) charged Inkatha with collaborating with white supremacists to massacre hundreds during this period. Inkatha boycotted (1993) the multiparty talks that wrote a new South African constitution but participated in the 1994 multiracial elections. Buthelezi was named home affairs minister in Nelson Mandela's government, a position he retained during President Thabo Mbeki's first term. Although violence between supporters of the ANC and Inkatha partisans persisted in KwaZulu-Natal during the mid-1990s, it subsequently largely subsided.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Southern African History: Biographies


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