KZN government pledges to support Zulu monarchy as it deals with succession
Durban - Reacting to news from the Zulu monarchy that it would go into three months of mourning and thereafter deal with the issue of succession, the KZN government says it will stand with the royal house throughout the process.
In a statement issued today, Premier Sihle Zikalala said that, as the government of the province, they have noted the announcement on Wednesday by Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation, that Her Majesty Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu will serve as regent until the succession has been finalised.
Zikalala said support to the royal house during this period was necessary.
“The royal family, as the custodian of our customs and values, continues to receive the necessary support from the government of KwaZulu-Natal. As and when required, working together with the stakeholders, we will make available the appropriate resources to assist the royal family through this period of history and transition,” Zikalala said.
Although the Zulu monarchy would be mourning for the aforesaid period, Buthelezi said the late King Goodwill Zwelithini never wanted people to starve to death while mourning him. As such, the Zulu nation would from today be allowed to till the soil - a practice that had not been allowed for the past two weeks.
Buthelezi said this after the king’s lawyers read out the king’s will in a meeting attended by more than 200 members of the royal family at Kwakhethomthandayo palace in Nongoma, northern KZN.
Zikalala conveyed his gratitude to mourners who sent messages of condolences when the 72-year-old monarch passed away on March 12.
He also said the monarchy should be given the space to grieve in peace.
“On behalf of government and the people of KwaZulu Natal, we take the opportunity to thank all individuals and organisations from South Africa and the rest of the world who, in person and in messages, have conveyed their own sense of loss at the passing of His Majesty and sent words of comfort to the royal family and the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
“We remind the people of KwaZulu-Natal that the royal family is still in mourning, and we must afford them the space as a family to mourn His Majesty during this sad time. We wish Her Majesty, the Zulu royal council and the entire royal family peace and comfort during this period,” Zikalala said.
Meanwhile, in honour of the late king, the KZN legislature, which is located in Pietermaritzburg, will hold a special sitting today. The late king had the special honour of opening the legislature a day before the premier gave his state of the province address.
“The legislature further acknowledges the role played by the Zulu monarch in bringing about democracy that the country enjoys today. The departed King Goodwill Zwelithini continues to be considered by this institution as the voice of reason and the unifier of all people in the province. The legislature acknowledges that His Majesty has remained an advocate for socio-economic development, including provision of infrastructure - roads, water and electricity for especially people living in rural areas,” the legislature said in a statement announcing the special sitting.