The remains of AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu have arrived at the KwaKhethomthandayo Palace in KwaZulu-Natal. Scores of members of the AmaZulu regiments called amabutho walked next to a motorcade as it left the mortuary. The solemn songs of the warriors carrying their shields and spears are in stark contrast with the joyful mood of the maidens who accompanied the amabutho to the mortuary.
Later tonight the remains will be taken to another palace to be interred, known as ‘ukutshala’ in isiZulu, meaning to be planted. Amabutho will be part of the ukutshala ceremony.
Pics by Nonkululeko Hlophe
Amabutho formed a guard of honour around the hearse that carried the remains of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
Scores of people lined the streets in Nongoma watching the procession moving the remains. Members of the royal family drove along with the hearse that was escorted by law enforcement authorities.
Hloniphile Masuku, who was part of the procession, said; “The first thing he used to do was to lead us in prayer. He was the one who would start the worship songs. He would remind us that God exists and he’d remind us of our importance and that Christ lives in us because we were able to maintain our virginity.”
Proceedings at Nongoma:
Former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela says his family’s relationship with the AmaZulu monarchy goes back three generations to when King Dinizulu and AbaThembu King Dalindyebo both attended the founding of the African National Congress in 1912.
Mandla Mandela, who is the current chief of the Mvezo tribal council is in Nongoma to pay his respects to the royal family after the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
He says Nelson Mandela had a close relationship with the King’s father, King Bhekuzulu, as legal advisor, and with King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu after his release from prison.
“And we will forever remember, as the Mandela family, in particular, the role Isilo played during the transition period when the country at large was almost engulfed in conflict. And he played an instrumental role in restoring peace, not only in KwaZulu-Natal but throughout the country.”
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the government is working with the AmaZulu royal family to ensure health protocols are in place as mourners gather ahead of the planting of the AmaZulu King.
Mkhize says so far he is satisfied with measures that have been put in place.
“It’s an effort to try and keep the numbers small but because no one knows how many people are coming it then ends up being quite a lot of people that you see. I think they put a good effort to try and deal with the situation where it’s going to be always difficult especially when you get amabutho because quite a number of them would have come in here they don’t have as much sense of distancing and some of them are used to working with staying very close to one another. So all of this message is being sent out and I’m quite comfortable that continuously the messages are going out to say this situation of COVID-19 is very serious.”