Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has announced that the funeral service of the eldest son of the AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will be private. Prince Lethukuthula, who will be buried on Friday, died last week in Gauteng. Buthelezi says the funeral will be attended by immediate family members to comply with COVID-19 regulations.
Prince Lethukuthula was born in 1970 to King Goodwill Zwelithini and his first wife Queen Sibongile Dlamini. He completed his lower education at Mlokothwa High school and furthered his tertiary education at the Durban University of Technology and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
His sudden death has shocked the Zulu nation. As the eldest son to the King, Prince Lethukuthula has been described as a pillar of strength to the Zulu royal family. The mystery around his death is being investigated by the Honeydew police station in Gauteng. His body was reportedly found by guards at his Graceland apartment in Northwold, last week Friday.
Prince Thulani Zulu, the Zulu Royal Household spokesperson, elaborates: “Prince Lethukuthula was a humble person, following his name and a man of good character, soft-spoken, very humble and respective and also pay respect to other and we will miss him a lot and he was a pride of the family.”
Buthelezi says the prince will be laid to rest tomorrow at KwaKheth’omthandayo Palace in Nongoma.
“On behalf of King Zwelithini, I wish to announce the funeral of the royal member, at dawn on Friday. The Prince’s remains will be interred and his body will be transferred to Nongoma after the post-mortem, then after the funeral at dawn on Friday, it will be followed by a private funeral service at KwaKheth’omthandayo Palace.”
Tradition dictates that whenever there is a death in the Zulu Royal household, warriors and izinduna converge at the palace to sing songs as a sign of mourning. But Buthelezi says because of the coronavirus pandemic, mourners are urged not to attend the funeral to avoid the spread of the virus.
“His majesty urges compliance with lockdown regulations, and he requests mourners to refrain from coming to the funeral on Friday. Even within the immediate family, attendance will be restricted. His majesty has emphasised his will that the funeral must not be an epicenter of an outbreak of COVID 19 infections. He is deeply concerned to avoid this. I, therefore, urge that we alleviate the burden of worry by honouring the instructions that he is giving us,” says Buthelezi.
The Zulu Royal household has refuted claims that the late Prince Lethukuthula was supposed to be the heir to the throne after King Goodwill Zwelithini’s reign.