King Goodwill Zwelithini: A monarch who wielded real power

14 March 2021 - 00:00 By Chris Barron

King Goodwill Zwelithini, who has died at the age of 72 of Covid-related complications while being treated for diabetes, was one of the most famous ceremonial monarchs in the world and also one of the most powerful.

Like all of them he was a kept man, owing his extravagant existence to the South African taxpayer. Unlike most of them he saw himself as much more than a ceremonial figurehead. He involved himself in politics, most notably when he helped avert a bloody civil war by persuading IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to participate in the 1994 elections...

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