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PICS: Hundreds of mourners flock to Nongoma for King Goodwill Zwelithini's memorial service

Throngs of mourners patiently wait for the memorial service of King Goodwill Zwelithini to get under way. Picture: Sihle Mavuso

Throngs of mourners patiently wait for the memorial service of King Goodwill Zwelithini to get under way. Picture: Sihle Mavuso

Published Mar 18, 2021

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Hours after his burial by a selected few royals, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's life will on Thursday be remembered by throngs of mourners.

This will happen during a memorial service to be held at KwaKhethomthandayo royal palace in Nongoma.

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The memorial service is expected to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa after the state granted the king a Special Official Funeral Category 1.

While the service was yet to get under way, throngs of mourners were flocking to the palace to take part in the service.

Among those who were already at the palace by 9am was KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala and IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and the chairperson of the KZN house traditional leaders, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza.

Zikalala praised the king for his efforts to stabilise the province when it was ravaged by political violence in the 1990s.

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Hlabisa said despite the painful experience, he was hopeful that the royal family and the entire Zulu nation would soon overcome the pain inflicted by the loss of the king.

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To comply with Covid-19 regulations which requires that a limited number of people gather in one place, entry to the palace was stricter, granted to a selected few while the rest of the people were asked to remain in an area with six marquees for different types of mourners.

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Worth noting was that while Zulu regiments were the centre of attraction on Wednesday when the king's body was fetched from a mortuary in the central business district of Nongoma, their presence on Thursday was not significant.

However, one regiment member who was spotted guarding one of the marquees said they would join the service at a later stage.

Also missing in action were the women regiments who also had a significant presence on Thursday. Instead, it was Zulu maidens who made their presence felt as they spotted at the gates of the palace singing and mourning the passing away of the king.

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Political Bureau

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