The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema has slammed those who have openly criticised the late Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Malema addressed the media after visiting the royal family in at the palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Tuesday, 16 March 2021.
The King passed away in the wee hours of Friday, 12 March 2021, at a private healthcare facility in Durban. His death has been linked to COVID-19 complications.
Julius Malema on King Zwelithini: He won’t be loved by everybody
Julius Malema said in the African culture, people never speak ill of the dead and added that those who slam the King now, failed to do so openly when he was still alive.
“The king was not money. He won’t be loved by everybody. As a human being, we expect people to have different views but in the African culture, it is bad to speak bad about the dead. If we don’t like you keep quiet. When death visits you, and when we do the same to you, we will be labelled as insensitive,” Malema said.
“Let us look at what is good about the work the king did in this area and all over. We only learn the good from the dead and deliberately ignore the bad because they are not here to answer for themselves”
While many have hailed his 50 year-long reign, some have taken swipes at his legacy, including City Press editor Mondli Makhanya, who wrote a blistering piece, in which he referred to the King as “apartheid’s useful idiot”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special official funeral for the King and the national flag be flown at half-mast at all flag stations across the country until the evening of the funeral service.
It was announced by the monarch’s Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, that it was the King’s wish to be buried at night and only by men in a private ceremony. The official memorial service will take place at the Khethomthandayo Royal Palace on Thursday, 18 March 2021 and Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the eulogy.
The King will be laid to rest on Wednesday evening. His death has now raised questions over who will now inherit the throne.