Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will be buried on Thursday the Zulu Royal Family has announced in a statement.
This was after Zulu warriors, dressed in traditional attire, uplifted King Zwelithini’s body from a Durban hospital on Saturday and transported it to his home in Nongoma.
Prince Mbonisi, Princess Thembi Zulu-Ndlovu kaBhekuZulu, siblings of the Zulu King Zwelithini made the announcement in a joint statement on behalf of the Zulu Royal Family on Sunday 14 March.
The family acknowledged the support it had received from traditional leaders, the Amakhosi- Izinduna, from different villages across the province.
“We were inspired and revived by Zulu warriors who went to fetch the body of the King at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital yesterday. The Zulu warriors, in their traditional attire, are a source of strength during this difficult period. We derived so much strength as the Zulu warriors arrived with the king’s body in KwaKethomthandayo Palace from Durban. They were singing Zulu chants in honour of their departed king,” the family said.
 “Despite a dark cloud hanging over this province, we are inspired by the spirit of unity that is blowing throughout the corners of this province. We must continue to display this unity as a way of paying tribute to his majesty as he departs this earth. He will have a safe journey and consequently convey good news to our ancestors – the Kings of the Zulu nation. We pause and pay tribute to His Majesty for serving this nation with integrity and commitment,” the family said.
The Royal family expressed its appreciation for the condolences that had poured in during the time of mourning for the Zulu King.
“The sad passing away of his majesty has left gaping wounds in our hearts. Despite the deep hurt and anguish, we remain comforted by messages of condolences from different structures of society. We wish to express our appreciation to the national and provincial governments,” the family said.
 “We have received messages of sympathy from kings in various parts of the country and the continent. We are indeed comforted by such comforting words as the Zulu Royal family. We also wish to pay tribute to all leaders of society who are too many to mention,” they said.
The family also thanked the healthcare workers for “working diligently with Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Queens, Princes and Princesses from the day of His Majesty’s admission until his untimely departure”.
The Zulu Royal Family said that it would continue to consult with traditional leaders (Amakhosi – Izinduna); young men (warriors) and women with assigned responsibility to look after girls as the funeral preparations got underway.
“We will continue to consult with other structures as guided by the Zulu culture and customs. At this stage, we wish to announce that his majesty will be Planted on the 18th March 2021,” the family said.
 “Regarding the planting of his majesty, we will follow traditional Zulu customs which will be attended by Amakhosi and other traditional structures. Covid-19 protocols will be followed.”
The family said the king had encouraged the people of the province across all racial lines to preserve and showcase the diversity of its cultures while simultaneously showing “our unity as one people and one nation”.
“The essence of the struggle for liberation was to ensure that all people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs. It is this diversity that makes us a unique nation, weaved from many cultures and ancestral history from our forefathers who descended from different continents,” the family said.
“The most important thing is the acceptance of diversity and the respect of different cultures and different religions and faiths.  This is the message that His Majesty always preached.”
The family announced that a memorial service for the Zulu King will be held on 18 March at KwaKhethomthandayo Palace.
 “The nation will gather to celebrate his majesty as a champion of unity of his people. We will celebrate the king as champion of development. The nation will reflect on his role as a father who had deep love for his people. He was a custodian of the Zulu culture and customs and often preached responsible behaviour as we build this nation,” the family said.
The family said it would use the Zulu King’s memorial service to remind the people of this province of his many other teachings.
 “He emphasized the fact that the family unit is a vital element in the development of a well-rounded and well-grounded child. We will reiterate his message that the family is central towards the teaching of human values of respect for the fellow human being,” the family said.
The family said Zulu King Zwelithini often called upon young men to:
 
●Provide for their families

●Look after their parents;

●Ensure the safety of neighbours and communities at large;

●Respect the structures of society including institution of traditional leadership

●Defend the nation against enemies.

“We will remind men of these messages from the king. We wish to express our appreciation to the Leaders of different faith. We invite them to continue to pray for this nation and the Zulu Royal Family. We thank you, the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the whole country for the prayers
Bayede!”

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Presh JM Reporter

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