Inkatha Freedom Party founder and traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation, Mangosuthu Buthelezi has said that South Africans dare not forget or disregard the sacrifices made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other African leaders for the nation’s independence.
Buthelezi said this on Sunday in Johannesburg while condemning xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.
According to SowetanLive, who shared the transcript of his speech, Buthelezi highlighted the role, Nigeria played in ensuring that the country gained independence.He also praised former president, Olusegun Obasanjo’s role and asked if the xenophobic attacks were the best way to pay back the “huge risks African countries like Lesotho, Swaziland, Nigeria, Zambia and Tanzania took on our behalf?”
Buthelezi said, “We dare not forget or disregard all that was done for us by African leaders like His Excellency President Olusegun Obasanjo. As a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, General Obasanjo revealed to the world the real conditions of our people under apartheid. He supported us in our stand against the regime’s plan to deprive us of our citizenship.
“In fact, on the very day that Transkei took so-called independence, President Obasanjo arranged for me and my wife to be in Nigeria so that I could avoid attending Transkei’s independence ceremony. General Obasanjo invited me to Nigeria again this year, where I delivered a lecture in celebration of his 82nd birthday.
“This is one of the giants of Africa. What are we doing to his people?”
During Buthelezi’s speech on Sunday, the mob walked out on him, while chanting, “foreigners must go back to where they came from.”
The resulting violence led to the death of one person.