King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu’s Ondini Royal Palace in Ulundi is set to host the annual Diwali celebrations for the fifth time on Saturday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Durban - King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu’s Ondini Royal Palace in Ulundi is set to host the annual Diwali celebrations for the fifth time on Saturday.

The Diwali celebrations in Ulundi are set to be attended by the Indian communities from Johannesburg, Phoenix, Chatsworth, Stanger and Richards Bay. 

King Zwelithini said that with South Africa’s society made up of different religious groups, various races and cultures, all South Africans should celebrate Diwali together as one nation as such events highlight social cohesion. 

“As the Monarch, I am delighted to celebrate Diwali together with the people of my kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal, especially my Hindu brothers and sisters,” said the King. 

King Zwelithini added that Diwali was a time when there was freedom, festivity and friendliness in the air as the festival brings about unity. 

“It instills charity in the hearts of the people, they embrace one another with love and Diwali is a great unifying force,” said King Zwelithini. 

Ishwar Ramlutchman known in the Zulu Monarch as Mabheka Zulu, a philanthropist and humanitarian, whose Sivananda World Peace Time Foundation will celebrate the event with the King, said that Diwali was a symbol of hope for all South Africans to unite as one nation.

“We need to come together to celebrate the rich heritage that our forefathers have kept alive since they arrive in South Africa in 1860. I salute His Majesty the King, King Goodwill Zwelithini for celebrating Diwali at the Ondini Royal Palace. I urge all communities to come join us during this festival,” Ramlutchman said. 

Meanwhile the City of Cape Town on Friday announced that it had decided this year not have designated sites for fireworks displays for Diwali, Guy Fawkes and New Year’s Eve, although it has not banned fireworks despite calls for this to happen as the City does not have the power to do so. 

JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, said: "While many have welcomed the decision to not have the designated sites, individuals within the Hindu community have expressed their dissatisfaction about the impact this will have on Diwali later this month. The fact is that organised fireworks displays can still be applied for, because the City has not imposed a ban on fireworks – we have simply decided not to have designated City sites this year.”

"However, in the spirit of respecting this Hindu cultural tradition, the City has, in consultation with interested parties, decided to make available the parking lot at Athlone Stadium on Sunday 27 October 2019, for Diwali celebrations," Smith said.

Political Bureau