Public urged to watch King Goodwill Zwelithini’s memorial from viewing areas set up in Nongoma
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Durban - Nongoma mayor Albert Mncwango has urged people of the northern KwaZulu-Natal rural town to refrain from attending Thursday’s memorial service for King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu and instead use the three public viewing areas set up in the town.
This comes as fears grow that Covid-19 restrictions have not been adhered to as scores of people stream in and out of KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace to pay their respects to the king.
Many others, including a bevy of journalists and izinduna, have camped outside the palace’s gates since news of the king’s passing broke on Friday morning.
Mncwango said it was almost an impossible task to manage the numbers of people flooding to the palace as people from all walks of life sought to pay their last respects to His Majesty. He urged people to follow all health protocols by all means.
“We, as the local municipality, are trying our best to keep the numbers as low as possible. To control the influx of people, especially on Thursday, to the royal palace we have made arrangements for public viewing areas in three different areas of Nongoma,” Mncwango said.
One public viewing area will be the Nongoma Multipurpose Hall and two at the town’s taxi rank.
“With these public viewing areas we are hoping to minimise the number of people who would like to stream into the palace as they now have an option of visiting any of the three public viewing areas,” Mncwango said.
He said that managing the number of coming to the palace was a difficult and almost impossible task as many wanted to pay their respects to the departed king.
“We can only appeal to our people, especially the local people from Nongoma, to actually please go and visit those three spots where have made provisions for them to follow the processes that will be going on, on Thursday.
“I don’t think the king would love a situation where his departure would actually trigger another exodus of people following him as a result of some sort of negligence in looking after ourselves,” Mncwango said.
He said the municipality had beefed up the presence of its staff to help with the sanitisation of mourners who would be coming to the palace. Provision has been made for additional sanitisers for the occasion.