The statue of King Shaka erected at the King Shaka International Airport will be officially unveiled on 27 April 2024.
Amazulu's newly appointed Prime Minister, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, announced on Monday that King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has decided to unveil a statue of King Shaka thirty years after the country's liberation.
“The foundation for the struggle against colonialism was laid by King Cetshwayo kaMpande at Isandlwana and sustained by his heir King Dinuzulu who was imprisoned and exiled for his defence of the land.
“The liberation struggle was kept alive by King Dinuzulu’s grandson, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who kept the torch of liberation burning inside the country when other leaders were in exile and on Robben Island – right up until together with President Nelson Mandela, Prince Buthelezi became one of the architects of our democracy,” Buthelezi said.
He said that the king had also declared that the statue of his father, King Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu which has been erected in Ulundi will be officially unveiled on 12 March 2024. “This date marks the third anniversary of the passing of the late King. Further details around this event will be announced in due course.”
The 12m-tall statue of King Shaka at the airport is under wraps for now.
The new statue comes after the late King Goodwill Zwelithini and other members of the Zulu Royal house in 2010 had objected to the previous statue of King Shaka at the airport, saying the sculpture made Shaka look like a herdboy and not the warrior king of Zulu history.
They further complained that the spear placed at his feet could suggest surrender.
It has been confirmed that the late King Zwelithini was pleased with the design aspects of the newly erected statue and had granted his approval for it. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture collaborated with different stakeholders during the commissioning and sculpting of the King Shaka statue. These stakeholders included the Zulu Royal Household, Airports Company SA, and other relevant parties.