Western Cape Acting Premier extends condolences after King Zwelithini’s death
Cape Town - Western Cape Acting Premier Bonginkosi Madikizela has extended his condolences to the royal family of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, following his death.
King Zwelithini’s traditional prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi announced his passing on Friday saying his health had taken a turn for the worse.
“It is with the utmost grief that I inform the nation of the passing of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu, King of the Zulu Nation,” Buthelezi, who is also the founder and former leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, said in a statement.
“Tragically, while still in hospital, His Majesty’s health took a turn for the worse and he subsequently passed away in the early hours of this morning.”
Condolences have been pouring in for the family, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having also sent well-wishes to the family.
Acting Western Cape Premier Bonginkosi Madikizela also followed suit this morning.
“The passing of His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini this morning is a huge loss to our country. The timing of his passing couldn’t be worse given the challenges we continue to face.
“King Goodwill Zwelithini played a pivotal role in uniting the people of KwaZulu-Natal and the Zulu nation across the country during the times of devastating violence in the early 1990s,” Madikizela said.
“I met His Majesty in early 2000 and was deeply touched by his love for his nation. Despite his stature in society, His Majesty was very humble, jovial and loved interacting with people.
“On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I would like to express my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the members of the Royal Family, the Zulu nation and the entire country during this difficult time.
“May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) also extended condolences: “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.
“Appointed to that position at the height of the apartheid era, 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,” the SAJBD said.
“King Zwelithini will also be gratefully remembered by the Jewish community, particularly in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, as a warm and generous friend whose door was always open.”
The SAJBD added: “Over the years, successive generations of Jewish communal leaders, businessmen and philanthropic organisations in KZN enjoyed his support in a range of far-reaching initiatives that brought lasting benefits to the people of the province and further afield.
“Our thoughts are with the family of King Zwelethini and with the greater South African Zulu community during this sad time.”