AmaZulu King wished for private burial, attended by men only - Prince Buthelezi

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said this means the King will not be laid to rest in an official state funeral as declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa, but a memorial service would be held on Thursday.

FILE: Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Picture: GCIS

DURBAN – Traditional Prime Minister to the late amaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the late monarch will be laid to rest in a private ceremony – as this was the late King's wish.

Buthelezi said this means the King will not be laid to rest in an official state funeral as declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa, but a memorial service would be held on Thursday.

The Prince said the Presidency had already been informed that the late AmaZulu King’s burial would no longer be officiated by the state.

“It was the King’s wish that he should have a private retirement; in other words, that he should be buried privately and also at night and that it should be done by men only. That decision was taken last night, just confirming the wishes of the King.

The King was married six times in his lifetime and had 28 children.

A number of high-profile political figures on Sunday visited his Kwekethomthandayo Royal Palace, in Nongoma.

These included former President Jacob Zuma, African National Conference Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile, Inkatha Freedom Party President Velenkosini Hlabisa, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and Police Minister Bheki Cele.”

The late monarch died on Friday following diabetes-related complications.

It was previously reported that the resting monarch's body would lie in state at the palace, which is the home of his late father, King Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaSolomon who had been laid in state when he passed away in September 1968.

Announcing that this would no longer be the case, Buthelezi said: "It unconscionable to allow His Majesty's passing to become the cause of further deaths among His Majesty's people. It has therefore been necessary to take the difficult decision for the late King not to be laid in state."

In the statement, Buthelezi pleaded with mourners not to travel to Nongoma, stressing that funerals were known COVID-19 super-spreader events.

Zulu Royal Family spokesperson Prince Mbonisi Zulu said instead of the army performing ceremonial activities, the king would be buried according to Zulu culture in a private ceremony.

KING ZWELITHIN PROMOTED UNITY AMONGST POLITICAL PARTIES

The Zulu royal household has expressed gratitude for messages of condolences received following the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini.

KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Nontembeko Boyce said the late AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini promoted unity among political parties.

“In the house of KwaZulu-Natal, we pride ourselves on the peace and colligability that exists among parties that has been cultivated by the close working relationship that we have had with His Majesty.”

In a statement, the Zulu royal family said it was indebted to leaders of political parties at all levels for their support during this period.

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

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