Adverse weather conditions have forced the amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to postpone his address to the thousands of maidens who are attending the Reed Dance ceremony at the eNyokeni Palace, in kwaNongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Heavy rains, strong winds and thunderstorms have been battering the area for most of the day.

The annual gathering sees maidens travel from as far afield as neighbouring Swaziland and Mozambique to present reeds to the amaZulu King.

Maidens are encouraged to remain as virgins until marriage and to refrain from sexual activity to avoid contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Zwelithini will now address maidens on Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Princess Cebolenkosi, daughter of Zwelithini has presented her reed to the Zulu King.

She led thousands of maidens who are participating in the annual Reed Dance.

The event has attracted tourists from as far as Australia and Denmark.

Amongst the dignitaries in attendance is IFP leader Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

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