Buthelezi, Mangosuthu Gatsha (Ashpenaz Nathan Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi) [key], 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, and he served as its president until 2019. 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. Inkatha's share of the national vote, more than 10% in 1994, declined in subsequent elections.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Southern African History: Biographies