2 May 2004

TAC Extends Condolences to Buthelezi Family

Prince Nelisuzulu Buthelezi dies of AIDS-related illnesses

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) extends its condolences to Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, his wife, Princess Irene Buthelezi and their family on the premature loss of their son Prince Nelisuzulu Buthulezi who died of AIDS-related illnesses.

The openness displayed by the Buthelezi family will reverberate throughout KwaZulu-Natal, the province worst affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and beyond. Following the example of the late Comrade Walter Sisulu, Comrade Albertina Sisulu and their family, as well as, Mrs. Graca Machel and former President Nelson Mandela who disclosed the AIDS-related deaths in their families, Chief Buthelezi's openness sets an example for every family faced with bereavement in this epidemic.

The TAC National Executive Committee does not share the politics of the Inkatha Freedom Party or its leader, but we commend the courage that the family and, in particular, Chief Buthelezi are demonstrating. We call on Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi to join hands with the MEC for Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize and provincial Premier Sbu Ndebele to set a non-partisan example on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment that every province and the country can follow. Thus far, the openness and the reduction of stigma of HIV/AIDS has been disproportionately carried by poor, marginalized and vulnerable communities. The death of Prince Buthelezi and its commemoration show that every sector of society is affected by HIV/AIDS.