The remains of AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelitini kaBhekuzulu have been collected from the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital in Durban and are being taken to one of the royal palaces at Nongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
A delegation of traditional leaders travelled to Durban to fetch the King’s remains and take them to the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace.
Staff at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital gathered to see the hearse leave.
Several Amabhuto – men belonging to a Zulu regiment – from around Durban were also there to see their king off.
Phumazidle Majola says they feel vulnerable after the king’s death.
“It is important the Amabutho must come and collect the body and take him to palace kwaKhethomthandayo where the bury of the King will take place. We are greatly saddened with the passing of the King and we did not even go to work as we wanted to be here to collect the body of the King to the palace, KwaKhethomthandayo,” says Majola.
The 72-year-old AmaZulu monarch died in a Durban hospital in the early hours of Friday from COVID-19 complications.
He had been in hospital for over a month.
The longest reigning Zulu King remembered:
Mourners stream in
Scores of mourners have begun coming in and out of the palace where they are paying their respects to the royal family. Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to be among the people who will visit palace.
KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala, has also announced that he and the province’s MECs will visit the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace on Sunday.
The provincial government is working with the Royal Household to finalise arrangements for the King’s official funeral.
KZN PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL TO VISIT THE ROYAL FAMILY ON SUNDAY
Members of the KZN Provincial Executive Council will, on Sunday the 14th of March 2021, visit the Royal Family to pay their last respects following the passing of Isilo King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu. pic.twitter.com/N9QCtd2L1j
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) March 13, 2021
Mourners prepare to receive the body of the late King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu:
Police officers and health officials are at hand at the palace to ensure that measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are adhered to.
“At the entrance of the palace there are police officers who are here, they are taking the temperatures of some of the guests who are coming through. There is also some health officials who are here with sanitisers for those who are going inside to the palace.
And from where we are looking inside, people are gathered in different areas. So they are trying to ensure that people sprad out while they are inside the palace before they go in,” says SABC News reporter, Ayanda Mhlongo.