Durban - King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has paid tribute to Independent Media photojournalist Bongani Mbatha who was gunned down at his Hammarsdale home on Tuesday.
The king said the Royal Family would remember for his diligent dedication for when he covered the reburial of Queen Thomozile Ndwandwe, the mother of the late King Goodwill and many other royal activities.
Police said two suspects had murdered Mbatha and were still at large.
In a statement on Wednesday, the King’s office said Mbatha was behind some of the most iconic pictures of royal events.
UPDATE: The Office of King Misuzulu is mourning the passing of Bongani Mbatha, a senior and talented photographer who was gunned down at his home in Hammarsdale, Durban, on Tuesday night. The office says Mbatha diligently covered the reburial of Queen Thomozile Ndwandwe,— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) July 19, 2023
“We recall that Mr Mbatha went on to capture and documented the unveiling of the tombstone of the grandmother of the Zulu King in 2017.
“He was one of the leading photographers during the unveiling of the Cato Manor Museum, which includes the grave of Queen Thomozile.
“The unveiling marked the completion of the first phase of a park that will ultimately include a hotel and restaurants,” the office said.
It added that the slain Mbatha took iconic pictures of King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, the reigning king of the Zulu nation paid tribute to his grandmother.
The office said Mbatha also captured King Misuzulu paying his respect to his late grandmother Queen Thomozile Jezangani Ndwandwe.
“This was after the prayer service that marked one year since the departure of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
“Clearly, Mr Mbatha had a lot to offer but sadly his life has been cut short.
“However, he leaves behind an excellent catalogue of Zulu heritage that will serve as an inspiration to many upcoming photographers,” the office added.
The ANC in KwaZulu is also mourning the murder of Mbatha and asked the minister of police, Bheki Cele, and the Commissioner of police in KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, to investigate the matter closely and make arrests.
“We remain worried about the brutal nature of crime which has become the biggest threat to the human rights of citizens of this province.
“It cannot be correct that more and more citizens feel unsafe in their homes where they should be secured and comfortable,” the party said in a statement.