Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize paid tribute to the late AmaZulu king Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
The 72-year-old AmaZulu monarch died in a Durban hospital in the early hours of the morning of the aftermath of COVID-19. He had been in the hospital for over a month.
The historian Shalo Mbatha reflects on the legacy of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu:
Mkhize says the late king was a true ambassador for South Africa.
“His Majesty has been a great ambassador for our country who has used royalty to facilitate investments in agriculture, education and socio-economic development. He believed in the autonomy of the community in the fight against poverty and supported programs for the provision of public services, in particular the protection of the environment, ”says the minister.
The legacy of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu:
Champion for the poor
Dr. Mkhize says King Zwelithini was an advocate for the poor, particularly in promoting rural development.
He says the king was greatly valued and loved by his people.
“The king founded the Bayede AIDS Project, which has partnered with the government to combat stigma and promote abstinence among youth. He also initiated the Medical Circumcision of Men Campaign, which has reached nearly one million men in KwaZulu-Natal Province. He was an advocate of cultural diversity and a repository for the history and traditions of our people. “
Mkhize says that King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu is missed for his kindness, generosity and warm, caring and compassionate spirit.
Former President Jacob Zuma says the king’s death is a great loss to the AmaZulu nation.
The former president sent a voice note to the royal family expressing condolences to them and the Zulu nation.
Zuma was supposed to go to the KwaKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma, but has since rescheduled.
Zuma says the king’s role in elevating the Zulu nation will always be remembered.
“It is a great loss for the king’s subjects, since our king is no more. We are deeply saddened when the King was our father and the father of our nation. We are speechless and the king was everything to us all. We are in pain because the king was our wisdom too. We extend our condolences to the nation, the royal family and the institution of traditional leaders, ”said the former president.
The Free State House of Traditional Leaders says the Zulu monarch will be remembered as a visionary leader dedicated to his people.
The chairwoman of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders Queen Gao Moroka says the king will be remembered as fearless and progressive.
“He was free and we felt at home, he could talk a lot. We spent most of the night there until I got up and said, King, now I’m going to sleep. He didn’t want us to go. When we told him we were alive, he said, wait, let me give you something. That’s how he was. He could do anything to make you happy. That was King Zwelithini for you, ”said Queen Moroka when she reported on her visit to the Royal Palace three years ago.
Earlier, AmaZulu’s traditional Prime Minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi had urged people not to attend King Zwelithini’s funeral as the coronavirus continues to spread in South Africa.
There are fears that a large crowd of people could turn into a COVID-19 super-spreader event.
Buthelezi said King Zwelithini’s body will not be in a condition as originally announced either to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Buthelezi also appealed to people to watch the funeral and other events on television.
The royal family are working on the funeral preparations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that King Zwelithini will receive an official Category 1 special funeral. A date for the funeral will be announced. SABC will broadcast the event live on its platforms.
Members of the royal family return to Khethomthandayo Palace after retrieving the king’s body: