God granted King Goodwill Zwelithini longevity and we reaped the rewards, says Buthelezi in moving tribute
Nongoma – Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has paid a moving tribute to King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu at his memorial service, saying that the king had carried his burden with dignity.
His Majesty was buried in the early hours of Thursday morning following his death last Friday morning due to Covid-19 and diabetes related complications at the Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban.
The memorial service has seen the who’s who of South African politics descend upon the KwaKhethomthadayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, north of KwaZulu-Natal, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Jacob Zuma, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and Cogta Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“His Majesty, our King, has transitioned to higher service, we are bereft our father is gone.
“May God give us wisdom to grieve as people with hope. This hope is anchored in the assurance that His Majesty’s reign will continue in an unbroken lineage of kings.
“Indeed, we are protected by the shield of our identity; for which our kings and ancestors proudly waged war. The Zulu nation is still here. We are walking through the valley of grief. Yet still, we stand,” Buthelezi said.
He said that the Zulu nation owed its hope to His Majesty who had honoured the throne of his father, and his father’s father, going back to the founder of the Zulu nation King Shaka KaSenzangakhona.
“Among all our kings, His Majesty’s reign was the longest. God granted him longevity and we reaped the rewards. God also granted him wisdom, compassion, foresight and courage.
“His Majesty became the repository of the full history of our people. All our traditions, culture, indigenous knowledge, systems of governance and social structures are expressed through our monarch. He carried this burden with dignity,” Buthelezi said.
He added that the Zulu nation had been blessed by his strength and boldness as he spoke without fear or favour and led according to his conscience.
“What he spoke, he also did. When he told us to till our lands and plant our fields, he led by example. He told us to produce food so that our families would be fed and our communities survive. This showed great foresight, in the gathering storm of economic crisis,” Buthelezi said.
He added that if it was not for His Majesty, the Zulu nation would be poorer, as throughout the Zulu Kingdom, His Majesty’s people had an extraordinary element of security as every family was able to access enough land to live on and produce food.
“Under his reign, the communal land of the Zulu Kingdom has fed and nurtured us. He fought for this security and as the servant of my King, I will continue that fight. Through him, traditional leadership remained strong, even under attack,” Buthelezi said.