Jacob Zuma to join mourners at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Nongoma home today
Mourners have gathered at King Goodwill Zwelithini's Nongoma Palace, where his body was expected to arrive after he passed away in hospital on Friday.
DURBAN/JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma is on Saturday expected to join mourners at the home of the late amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The monarch passed away in a Durban hospital on Friday where he was admitted for high glucose levels.
He had been receiving medical care for over a month.
Family spokesperson Prince Mthiza Zulu said the King contracted COVID-19 while hospitalised but recovered.
He said King Zwelithini died from diabetes-related complications.
The late monarch’s body is expected to arrive at the Kethomthandayo Palace, in Nongoma, on Saturday.
Mourners started gathering since the morning at the Palace, which was one of the homes where the late King grew up.
INDUNA DESCRIBE KING GOODWILL ZWELITHINI AS A PEACEMAKER
Meanwhile, the Zulu leaders in Johannesburg paid tribute to King Goodwill Zwelithini, describing him a peacemaker.
As messages of condolences continue to pour in for the royal family, indunas in Johannesburg said they were saddened by the passing away of the King.
The chairperson of the induna, Sphiwe Mhlongo said the AmaZulu nation has lost a cultural champion.
“It is very bad. I can’t forget about it; I can’t even believe that it happened.”
Mhlongo said His Majesty was a man of peace.
“He always preached peace to the members of the Zulu nation.”
MORE TRIBUTES FOR THE LATE AMAZULU KING
At the same time, the Salvation Army was the latest organization to send its condolences to the royal family – saying he was a revered monarch, who was respected by South Africans.
Acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale said Zwelithini would be remembered as a much-loved, visionary monarch who made an important contribution to cultural identity, national unity, and economic development in KwaZulu-Natal and through this, to the development of the country as a whole.
“The sad news comes at a time when we had all been hopeful that His Majesty was recovering well. The President has offered his sympathies and prayers to the royal family, to the Zulu nation, and to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and beyond, for whom the Ingonyama was an important symbol of history, culture, and heritage.”
Meanwhile, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in a reign spanning half a century, King Zwelithini was the recognised representative leader whose royal stature embodied the greater history, heritage and culture of the Zulu people in South Africa.
The board said he helped to unite and encourage his followers during the difficult years leading up to the democratic transition and in adapting to the new challenges of healing and nation-building.
It added that the King would also be remembered by the Jewish community, particularly in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, as a warm and generous friend whose door was always open.
WATCH: A week of mourning for KZN - King Goodwill Zwelithini passes away