Various political parties expected to visit King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Royal Palace

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Leaders of various political parties are expected to visit the family of AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini at the KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday, to pay their final respects.  

He passed away in the early hours of Friday morning due to COVID-19-related complications.  

Among those expected to pay their respects are KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and his cabinet, IFP leadership led by party President Velenkosini Hlabisa and EFF leadership in the province.  

The King’s memorial service will be held on Thursday. 

Earlier,  it was announced that the king’s body will no longer lie in state at the royal palace due to COVID-19 protocols.   

Live Proceedings from Kwakhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma:

Indications point to an official Category 1 funeral later this week. This is yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, AmaZulu Traditional Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi says Police Minister, Bheki Cele, and Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, had to intervene after some members of the Zulu royal family wanted to break COVID-19 regulations in the run-up to King Zwelithini’s funeral.  

Buthelezi says some members of the royal family wanted the king’s body to be moved between all six palaces, despite the possibility of putting people at risk of contracting the virus.

“In our earlier conversation with some Kings children, two queens, we agreed that the King’s body will come only at KwaKhethomthandayo Palace. To my surprise, I heard that some in the royal family had gone to the mortuary not to do what I have instructed them to do. This was despite them knowing very well that the King died of COVID-19 complications. I had to phone Minister Cele and Minister Mkhize to intervene. I had decided not to come here anymore because of this.”

‘Great loss’

Former President Jacob Zuma says the death of King Zwelithini is a great loss to the AmaZulu nation. The former President sent a voice note to the royal family, expressing his condolences to them and the Zulu nation.  

Below are some of the King’s quotes:

Zuma says the King’s role in uplifting the Zulu nation will always be remembered. 

To the subjects of the king, it is a great loss as our king is no more. We are deeply saddened as the king was our father and the father of our nation. We are speechless and the king was everything to all of us. We are in pain as the king was also our wisdom. We send our condolences to the nation, the royal family and the institution of traditional leaders. 

Below is a timeline of key moments of the king’s life: