The late AmaZulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, has been remembered as a symbol of peace and unity.
This was the sentiment expressed by many speakers at the prayer meetings held at two amaZulu Royal palaces in Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
But these remembrance prayers, that were held separately, a year after the King’s passing, continued to expose the rift over the issue of succession in the AmaZulu Royal family.
AmaZulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, passed away last year on the 12th of March in a Durban hospital after contracting COVID-19. Just a month later, the Regent Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu also died. Her will appointed her oldest son, Prince MisiZulu as king-elect.
Photo gallery of some of the scenes at the Late AmaZulu King’s memorial services:
At the Kwakhethomthandayo Royal Palace, home to the late King’s first wife Queen Sibongile, prayers and worship songs were the order of the day. The Queens and some Princes and Princesses were present.
Church leaders like Reverend, Samuel Mpungose, hailed the late King, describing him as someone with a firm belief in his faith.
“He was not just a King, but a person who worshipped to the Lord in heaven. His faith was strong. He praised and subjected himself to the Almighty. That is why he is the only King to have been on the throne for so many years. He strongly believed in prayer and read scriptures in the bible. He prayed to the Almighty all the time and played piano praising the Lord in heaven.”
Speaking on the sidelines of this memorial, the late King’s brother, Prince Mbonisi Zulu, again disputed that King-elect MisuZulu kaZwelithini was nominated by the Zulu Royal family as the successor. He says that the family is yet to decide on this.
“Because people have been misled, we take the king’s children at the same level, until such time we come together and then we can come up with the name of that king elect to take the throne. At the moment you can’t hail somebody, even the throne has not been cleansed. I am saying I am taking him like one of the kings’ sons or the princes and princesses, so there is no difference. As I am saying to you, we need to sit down and come up with the right decision about the one who will take the throne.”
Late Amazulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s memorial service at KwaKhethomthandayo royal palace:
A second memorial service was held at the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace to remember the late King and also the late Regent Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu. AmaZulu King-elect Misuzulu kaZwelithini was accompanied by Traditional Prime Minister, Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Queen Mother MaZungu.
The King-elect called on different religious organizations to pray for the Royal family.
“We need to remember and remind each other what the late king left us with, that is unity, respect, and peace. All these three values are extremely important. Even at the event held at the ICC when I was addressing, I did say it does not cost a thing to respect people. That is the legacy the late AmaZulu king left us.”
Some Nongoma residents, who were present here, say they believe there will only be stability in the Zulu royal family once the King-elect has been coronated.
“These two prayers being held at different palaces means nothing. But we trust that all of this division within the royal family will end once King Misuzulu is coronated. He understands the dynamics and the Zulu culture it is. I believe that the late king and the current king-elect have the same leadership skills and personalities. Nothing will change once he is officially coronated.”
Traditional AmaZulu Prime Minister, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, became emotional, commenting on the criticism he says he faces around his involvement in the Zulu Royal family.
“I am being turned a scapegoat, people are accusing me of fueling divisions in the royal family. We are only two as elders in the family, the current King was not chosen by myself to the throne, but it’s his father who put him on the throne. Others are saying I am doing this to benefit my party.”
He says the coronation process currently lies with President Cyril Ramaphosa. – Vusi Makhosini and Fanele Mhlongo made this report
Late Amazulu King Goodwill Zwelithini prayer service under way at KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace: