Mangosuthu Buthelezi 'self-isolating at home' after contracting Covid-19
IFP founder and former leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has become the latest political figure to test positive for the coronavirus.
His family made the announcement in a statement yesterday, saying that the 91-year-old went for a test after being notified that he had come into contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.
Buthelezi undertook the test despite the absence of symptoms at the time.
The family moved to allay fears about his health, saying he is in good spirits.
"As required, he is now self-isolating at home for the mandatory period. At this point we are pleased to say that he remains asymptomatic and is in good spirits.
"As a family we have put in place a capable team to keep watch over the situation. Please rest assured that we will keep you informed of his progress and will advise when he is back in office. During this period of self-isolation, members of the media are kindly requested to respect our space," the statement read.
"We are aware that many families have journeyed this road of infection and the overwhelming majority have emerged to full recovery. We therefore thank you for your prayers as we await a good outcome."
Buthelezi - a contentious figure in South African politics - stepped down as the first and only leader of the party after 44 years at the helm during an elective conference in August last year, a week before he turned 91.
He was succeeded by 55-year-old Velenkosini Hlabisa, who was said to have been hand-picked by Buthelezi.
Several ministers in President Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet have recovered from Covid-19.