President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the late King Victor Thulare III, of the BaPedi Kingdom, as a youthful and visionary leader who sought economic prosperity for his people.

The King is being laid to rest next to his palace in Mohlaletsi, Limpopo after passing away from COVID-19 related complications at the age of 40.

Ramaphosa was delivering the eulogy at the funeral service in Sekhukhune.

“The passing of Thulare the third – who was so youthful, visionary, promising, fine-sighted and so full of life – has shaken our very being. Thulare set out to lead his people on a path of economic prosperity. He wanted people to have clean water and basic services. He wanted his people to live lives free of crime, GBV and corruption.”

The President has urged the Bapedi people to affirm King Victor Thulare’s dream of unity for their nation.

The kingdom underwent internal strife following the death of Thulare’s father King Sekhukhune III in 2007 as to who was the rightful heir.

It was the Nhlapo Commission on Traditional Leadership Disputes and the Constitutional Court that finally confirmed Thulare’s claim over that of his uncle Kenneth Kgaudi Sekhukune III in May last year.

Thulare was to be inaugurated later this year.

“When he was officially recognised Kgosi Thulare shared his aspirations for the peace and the unity of his kingdom so that they could collectively chart a new path of reconciliation after the many years of strife he wanted to see development and prosperity for the people in this area in fact even before ascending to the throne he preached unity which he said was a fitting gift to the ancestors who bequeathed this generation this vast land let his dreams not die with him,” adds the President.

President Ramaphosa also took the time to warn mourners that they have broken the COVID-19 regulations for holding the funeral service of BaPedi King Thulare Victor Thulare the Third for more than two hours. The King’s service was held from nine o’clock in the morning until after midday.

Ramaphosa’s used his eulogy at the funeral service to tell mourners that the duration of each funeral should only be two hours. He immediately left after delivering the eulogy – before the service was concluded.

“We are saddened by the passing on of the King, you will pardon me because time is not on our side, as per regulation we were supposed to spend only two hours. We have been here for more than two hours already. After giving eulogy I will leave, I have already informed the queen mother that I need to rush back to attend some meetings related to COVID-19 and vaccination.”