Durban - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has described King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu as a reservoir of knowledge and a pleasant human being.
Dlamini Zuma was part of a delegation of senior government and ANC officials, including former president Jacob Zuma, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and Police Minister Bheki Cele, who paid a visit to the royal family in Nongoma, in the wake of the King’s passing on Friday.
“Just taking this trip to here was very difficult and very different because when we came here at any one time, we knew that he was always here – but this time he was not going to be here and this is forever. So it was very difficult for the royal household and for all of us,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She said King's death was not only a loss for KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa, but it was a loss felt even beyond the country’s borders.
“He was a reservoir of knowledge, especially about the country, about things royal. Having been on the throne for almost fifty years, you can imagine that there’s no one in the country with that kind of experience."
“There’s no one on the continent with that kind of experience, beyond maybe Queen Elizabeth or someone, but generally he was knowledgeable. What I also liked about him is that he spoke his mind, he didn’t second guess what he wanted to say and what he meant."
The minister said that the King was a pleasant human being, who was approachable and accessible despite his status as the King, while also possessing the dignity of being a king.
“He loved his children and I had the privilege of marrying one of his daughters to my nephew so, at a personal level, at the human level, he was also very pleasant. He was a proud Zulu King, an intelligent Zulu King, and a musician,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She also hailed His Majesty’s role and activism on matters-concerning HIV/AIDS, Covid-19, education, the economy and agriculture.