Mourners prepare to receive body of late King Zwelithini at his childhood home

The body of late amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will lay in state at the Kwakhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, which is the home of the monarch's late father King Cyprian kaSolomon.

Mourners have started gathering outside the Khethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma. The body of the late #KingZwelithini kaBhekuzulu is expected to arrive here today. The family is expected to meet and then give an update on funeral arrangements. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

CAPE TOWN/ DURBAN – Mourners have gathered in Kwakhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma where the body of late amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini was expected to arrive on Saturday.

The palace belonged to his late Father King Cyprian kaSolomon, and is also where King Zwelithini was raised.

The King was the longest-serving monarch of the Zulu Kingdom, with a reign spanning over five decades.

He passed away on Friday in a Durban hospital after being admitted for high glucose levels.

Former President Jacob Zuma is expected to join mourners at the King’s Nongoma home.

The family spokesperson, Prince Thiza Zulu said King Goodwill Zwelithini had contracted COVID-19 while hospitalised, but recovered.

He said the King died from diabetes-related complications.

The family is expected to give details of his burial After President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral for the King.

READ: Ramaphosa declares special official funeral for King Goodwill Zwelithini

The KwaZulu-Natal government has declared an official week of mourning in the province.

Kwazulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said as part of a weeklong period of mourning all government and private functions in the province are suspended.

“On Thursday 18 March, we call for prayer services throughout the province, to pray for the Zulu nation following the passing of His Majesty.”

He said King Goodwill Zwelithini's death has left the nation poorer.

“His Majesty will be remembered as a champion of peace and stability in the KZN province, having led many initiatives that sought to achieve peace.”

Zikalala adds this was the time to unite as a nation.

“This moment of immense sadness, we call on all people to remain calm and mourn the passing of the monarch in a dignified manner. This is the time to unite as a nation and give His Majesty the King a fitting farewell for his legacy.”

WATCH: A week of mourning for KZN - King Goodwill Zwelithini passes away

ROYAL FAMILY WILL TAKE KING’S INSPIRATIONAL LEGACY FORWARD

The family of the late amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has described the late monarch as inspirational.

An emotional Prince Mbonisi Zulu said the passing of his brother was a great loss to the amaZulu nation.

ALSO READ: Zulu people around the world urged to mourn death of King Zwelithini

“Things that he has done for members of this family, and members of the public as well. Whether you have lost a loved one, he will jump in to assist in whatever way.”

He said the family will take his legacy forward.

“we will mourn the loss of our King in different ways. We won’t change the way we do things.”

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