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Princess Irene, wife of Mangosuthu Buthelezi, dies

In a statement, the party said she passed away on Monday morning in Kwaphindangene in KwaZulu-Natal.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has confirmed Irene Buthelezi, the wife of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has died after a long illness.

In a statement, the party said she passed away on Monday morning in Kwaphindangene, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Buthelezi family has asked for privacy, as they arrange her funeral. The family has thanked friends and supporters for their condolences and prayers.

The couple had been married for 67 years.

Their son Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa said: “I think to have known somebody for that long, they become part of your DNA so it’s very difficult for our father, especially because both of them as parents have lost five siblings, one after the other.”

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation says it's saddened to learn of the passing of Princess Irene.

The foundation has joined the outpouring of condolences for her family.

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