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Zulus Mourn Prince’s Death

September 9, 1999

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Mcwayizeni Ka Dinizulu, the most senior prince of South Africa’s Zulu people and a longtime opponent of the leading Zulu nationalist politician, has died, the government said Thursday. He was 67

His family said Mcwayizeni, who died Tuesday, had been ill for more than two years. They did not disclose the illness.

Following news of the prince’s death, the Zulu royal family postponed Saturday’s traditional reed dance, an annual celebration in which girls from the king’s domain present him with reeds for use in his hut and cattle pen.

The prince was an uncle and close ally of the Zulu monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Mcwayizeni served as regent before Zwelithini was crowned king in 1971, and remained highly influential until 1994, when South Africa elected its first democratic government. Since then his public profile has diminished considerably.

The prince’s support for the African National Congress made him many enemies among the Zulus, the majority of whom support the nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party led by Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi. There have been several reports of attempts on Mcwayizeni’s life since he joined the ANC in 1990.

The ANC and Inkatha were at loggerheads for years and their ongoing conflict in KwaZulu-Natal province have claimed thousands of lives. However relations between them have thawed recently.

Mcwayizeni is survived by his wife Thoko, seven children and seven grandchildren. The funeral is scheduled for Sept. 18.

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