OPPOSITION parties want Mangosuthu Buthelezi to pay back R1,2 million spent on his 90th birthday party. The party to celebrate the IFP leader’s birthday took place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban in August. On Thursday, Finance MEC Belinda Scott’s mid-term budget revealed that the party cost R1,2 million. She said the money was requested by the arts and culture department and approved by cabinet. EFF provincial leader Vusi Khoza said he didn’t understand what was so special about Buthelezi that public money should be used for his birthday. “The man has been in parliament since 1994 and was minister of home affairs. Surely he has money to pay for his birthday party?” he said. “We want him to pay back the money as he did when he return a R90 000 suit after hearing the price.” NFP leader Vikizitha Mlotshwa said the money could have been used for education or to build toilets. Arts and culture department spokesman Mack Makhathini said the money was paid out after being approved by cabinet. When asked for comment, Buthelezi’s son Zuzifa said he couldn’t talk because he was with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. After Buthelezi heard the suit he wore at his birthday, which was a gift from Indian designer Janak Parekh, was worth R90 000 he returned it.
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