Picture:Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA
Picture:Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA

Zulu regiments grateful that King Goodwill Zwelithini’s burial was not Covid-19 superspreader as feared

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Apr 27, 2021

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Durban – The leader of the Zulu regiments, Mlandeli 'Mgilija' Nhleko, say they are grateful that the burial of late King Goodwill Zwelithini in mid-March this year did not become a Covid-19 superspreader event as feared by many.

Nhleko also apologised to the government that regiments did not follow some of the Covid-19 regulations saying that was not intentional. The alleged violations started on March 12, the day the king passed away, and continued until March 18 when there was a memorial service at Kwakhethomthandayo palace in Nongoma.

He said should they have not fulfilled their role of accompanying their king to his final resting place, history would have judged them harshly for abandoning their traditional role as regiments.

Nhleko said this on Tuesday in Durban during a press conference held on the sidelines of another gathering of Zulu headmen from around Durban and Zululand.

“We are grateful that so far no one who came has contracted the virus even though there was reported danger when we lost the king. From the day we fetched the King (from Durban) there was no social distancing … we failed to manage it. We did not deliberately defy the law despite warnings, no, as the regiments have said, that was a sad day for us after the passing of the king. There was nothing we could do,” he said in Zulu.

Nhleko was also asked about the reports of squabbling within the Zulu royal house after it emerged that some senior princes and princesses are setting up parallel structures to “advise” acting Queen Regent Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu. That prompted Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation and King, to hit back at the “royal clique” saying it was causing unnecessary confusion by holding unauthorised meetings and addressing the media.

Amabutho at the gate at one of the home of the Zulu king where his majesty's memorial service was held.Photo Doctor Ngcobo/Africannewsagency(ANA)

He said they would not comment on that because they have no idea about it, adding that their role is that being on the side of the King.

“We cannot answer that question as we know nothing about those statements, it’s only you (the media) who knows it.

With persistent rumours that some people close to former president Jacob Zuma are lobbying Zulu regiments to go to Nkandla and protect him ahead of his anticipated arrest for defying the Constitutional Court, Nhleko said they have nothing to do with Zuma and his plethora of legal woes.

“We have nothing to do with that, Zuma is a resident of Nkandla and we have nothing to do with that … What is he protected from? We don’t know anything about it,” he said emphatically.

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