WATCH | Body of Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini leaves Durban, arrives in Nongoma
Scores of amabutho (Zulu warriors), traditional leaders, hospital staff and members of the public sang, danced and ululated as the body of the late Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini left the Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital on its way to Nongoma on Saturday morning.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi made the tragic announcement that the king took his last breath at the hospital on Friday morning. He later told SABC’s Ukhozi FM that the monarch, who was being treated for diabetes in the ICU, succumbed to Covid-related illnesses.
The king’s body was transported in a private funeral home’s hearse and accompanied by senior traditional leaders to make the three-hour journey from Durban to the Osuthu palace in Nongoma, in northern KZN, amid a strong police presence. Once the procession reached Nongoma a few hours later, traffic and pedestrians came to a standstill.
The family announced that the monarch’s body would no longer lie in state.
He was taken to the mortuary where amabutho sang in his honour.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared on Friday that the late King Zwelithini will be accorded an official state funeral.
The special official funeral category 1 will entail ceremonial elements provided by the SA National Defence Force.
Ramaphosa also authorised that the national flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from Saturday morning until the evening of the funeral service.
Royal officials will convene a meeting to decide on funeral and burial arrangements.