IFP founder Mangosuthu Buthelezi is free of Covid-19, just in time for his 92nd birthday, his family announced on Thursday.
The 91-year-old had gone for a test after being notified that he had come into contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case. He tested positive but remained asymptomatic while self-isolating.
“He has today [Thursday] received a negative test result, confirming that he is no longer infected. His full medical tests have provided us with complete assurance that he is in good health,” said family spokesperson Bhekuyise Buthelezi.
“We, the family of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, are pleased to confirm that uMntwana wa KwaPhindangene has completed the mandatory period of self-isolation after being diagnosed positive for Covid-19 on August 8.”
Bhekuyise sent a message of gratitude to those who offered prayers and messages of support for the prince. He also thanked the media for “respecting this time away from his many duties”.
“Throughout this period of self-isolation, he remained asymptomatic, yet he continued to take every precaution. As a family we hope that our experience will encourage the many other families who are facing this daunting journey,” he said.
Buthelezi’s birthday is exactly a week away, on August 27.
Bhekuyise said the family was aware throughout this time that his age, and the added vulnerability of chronic diabetes, placed him at greater risk. He said his recovery should serve as an encouragement to all.
“We urge all South Africans to continue taking every precaution, so that our country might win the ongoing battle against Covid-19.”