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King Zwelithini not on Zim event's guestlist

Goodwill Zwelithini was accused of inciting xenophobic violence in KZN earlier this year.

FILE: King Goodwill Zwelithini is not invited to the opening of a church, although several South African gospel musicians are expected to be at the event. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's state broadcaster is now reporting that church officials have denied that Zulu monarch K ing Goodwill Zwelithini is to be their guest at a function later this month.

Some activists in Zimbabwe had said they didn't have any problem with Zwelithini visiting, even though he was accused of making xenophobic comments in March.

A Zimbabwean state newspaper last weekend claimed that the Zulu king would attend a private wedding and the opening of a new church in the town of Gwanda at the end of August.

But now the head of the town's Brethren in Christ Church, Reverend Sipho Mhizha, denies this.

He was speaking to the state-run ZBC, after a closed-door meeting with members of the state security organ the Joint Operations Command.

Many in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland provinces share historical links with South Africa, and some activists were in favour of a visit by Zwelithini.

The church leader told the broadcaster that the king hadn't been invited, although several South African gospel musicians are expected to be at the event.

(By Masechaba Sefularo)