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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 August, 2004, 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK
Aids kills Zulu leader's daughter
Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Mangosuthu Buthelezi said South Africa had done too little
Veteran South African politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been to the funeral of his daughter - revealing she was his second child to die from Aids.

The leader of the Zulu-dominated Inkatha Freedom Party, said he felt "despair and hopelessness" at the death of 48-year-old Mandisi Sibukakone.

She died on Thursday, months after her 53-year-old brother Prince.

Mr Buthelezi said at his daughter's funeral that South Africa should do more to tackle HIV/Aids.

"Tragically, Mandisi's untimely death should have been averted, for she also succumbed to the disease that is unmercifully mowing down many of our people," he said at the funeral in Mahlabathini.

"As you know this is the second child that I have lost this year to this dreadful disease, the pandemic of Aids. When will our nation and government comprehend that we have no greater calling and mission than to deal with this terrible emergency?"

One in nine South Africans have HIV or Aids. With an estimated 5.3m people infected, South Africa is the world's worst-affected country.

But correspondents say few South African leaders have been prepared to speak openly about the impact of the disease.

The government has often been criticised for not doing enough to combat Aids. Last year President Thabo Mbeki denied knowing anyone affected by the disease, and at one time he questioned the link between Aids and HIV.

The government has now started an Aids treatment programme, but only a fraction of sufferers are getting free drugs.


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